2017 UG Commencement Program
46 H onors Students wear cords, pins, sashes, and medallions that reflect institutional and national academic honors as well as campus leadership, service, and engagement. The following academic honors are reflected by specific regalia as noted below: u u Alpha Chi, recognizing the top 10 percent of students in each major by a medallion with a blue and green ribbon u u Alpha Eta, recognizing students in the allied health programs by a green honor cord u u Alpha Kappa Delta, recognizing students in sociology by a turquoise honor cord u u Alpha Phi Sigma, recognizing students in criminal justice by a blue and gold cord, sash, or medallion u u Beta Beta Beta, recognizing students in biology by a red and green cord u u Kappa Delta Pi, recognizing students in education by a jade green and violet cord or stole u u Lambda Epsilon Chi, recognizing students in paralegal/legal assistant studies by a purple sash u u Lambda Pi Eta, recognizing students in communication studies by red and white cords u u Omicron Delta Kappa, recognizing student leadership by white, black, and light blue cords u u Psi Chi, recognizing students in psychology by platinum and dark blue cords u u Rho Rho Rho, recognizing students in marine biology by dark blue and light blue cords u u Sigma Beta Delta, recognizing students in business, management, and administration by green and yellow cords, stole, and medallion The color, indeed the flamboyance, of academic dress undoubtedly adds to the sense of occasion at academic ceremonies. But as its historical roots show, it has a much deeper significance. It is an outward sign of the universality of universities, and of their responsibility for certain timeless values essential to the freedom of inquiry: tolerance of alternative views and courage in maintaining one’s own tirelessness in the pursuit of truth and the free exchange of knowledge. Its wearing marks also the responsibility of the new graduate to maintain and uphold these ideals. These fundamentals of academic freedom have not been threatened in this country for more than 200 years, but the importance attached to the donning of traditional academic dress was underlined in recent years by scholars from Central and Eastern Europe; during the Cold War, their use of academic robes became a symbol of their refusal to be dominated completely by political forces and the state, and symbolized their persistent links to the worldwide community of scholars. Thus, the wearing of academic dress should be seen not simply as a sign of achievement, but as a symbol of the responsibility that falls on all members of universities.
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