I recently attended the commencement ceremony at John Wood Community College. Pomp & Circumstance played in my head, but not at John Wood's commencement.

It got me to think: why is Pomp & Circumstance played at graduation ceremonies? According to an NPR article, it was first played when Sir Edward Elgar, the composer of the song, received an honorary doctorate from Yale University in 1905. Music commentator Miles Hoffman commented "After Yale used the tune, Princeton used it, the University of Chicago [and] Columbia. Then eventually... everybody started using it. It just became the thing that you had to graduate to."

You can find the complete story at this Web site.