Fast Shipping | Door-to-Door Tracking Available | Hassle-free Returns

What is the Meaning of a Graduation Stole?

A graduation stole is a sash-like garment worn by some students at high school and college commencement ceremonies. Draped around the neck and over the shoulders of the gown, graduation stoles are typically worn to highlight a student’s academic or extracurricular achievement, or their affiliation with a particular group or field of study. Valedictorians and salutatorians wear stoles, as do commencement speakers. Student council members, honor societies, sororities and fraternities are also distinguished by their stoles. Specific degree programs are represented by a color standard recognized by most colleges and universities throughout the United States. For example, Math and Science majors wear yellow stoles and Engineering majors wear orange stoles in most colleges and universities.

Wearing a stole can also hold deeper cultural significance. Kente stoles are becoming increasingly popular among students of African American descent, who might wear them to honor their heritage or to recognize the struggles of displacement from Africa. Adopting the intricately woven patterns and colors of the 400 year old Ghanaian tradition, Kente stoles are often gifted to participating students during a separate ceremony called a ‘Donning of the Kente’ that precedes the graduation commencement.    

The tradition of the ‘Donning of the Kente’ began in 1993, when four faculty members of West Chester University wanted to recognize the obstacles overcome by African American students over the course of their education. They have since become popular in schools across America, with thousands of students walking the stage with Kente stoles every year. While the majority of Kente stoles are worn by African American students, graduates from other ethnic minority groups have adopted the tradition as well.  

Donning of the Kente


Share the knowledge!


Buy Kente Stoles

Related Posts

Which Side Does the Graduation Tassel Start On?
If you are an undergrad student, the tassel starts on the right side of your graduation cap. When the ceremonial spea...
Read More
How Should a Graduation Gown Fit?
Graduation gowns should fit loosely and securely if ordered in the right size. Check the size chart before ordering a...
Read More
How Do You Throw a Cheap Graduation Party?
Presentation and thrifting go a long way toward making a graduation party on a budget that still fits your expectatio...
Read More
How Much Money is Appropriate for a Graduation Gift?
As with many decisions surrounding graduation, there is no universally agreed upon standard for how much money to gif...
Read More
Do you give flowers to a graduate?
There’s nothing wrong with buying flowers for a graduate, but there are a couple of reasons that another gift would b...
Read More
What do parents wear to graduation?
Even though graduation ceremonies are all about the graduate, parents also need to think about what outfit they will ...
Read More