Smiling young student being handed something

Shawnee State University recognizes students who graduate with honors or are members of academic honors societies.

In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia, specific students who have excelled academically are entitled to wear honor cords.

Graduation stoles (sashes) may also be worn to signify achievement through or membership in college organizations in good standing with the University.


Graduation stoles and honor cords must be in keeping with the decorum of the event and the following guidelines:

Honor Cords

An Honor Cord is a token consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end.  Cords signify specific academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or society.

Graduation Stole

A graduation stole is a decorative vestment worn by students who are members of college organizations for the purpose of recognizing membership or achievement. A stole takes the form of a cloth scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the awarding Society's colors and/or insignia.

Approval Process

If No Changes

If your organization has been approved in the past for either cords or stoles and you are making NO CHANGES to the design or color, this approval is still valid and you do NOT need to request approval again.

If Changing or Requesting New

If your organization has not been approved in the past, you are not sure of prior approval, or you are making ANY changes to design or color, please submit the approval request form. The deadline for such requests is one month prior to commencement. You will receive notification whether your request was approved or declined within 7 days.

Cap and Gown Decorations

cap decoration

Gown decorations other than those mentioned above are prohibited.

The top of the cap may be decorated. The decoration must lay flat against the cap in order to prevent obstructing the view of others. Language or symbols on decorated caps must be appropriate. There may be nothing hanging down from any of the sides of the cap. LED lights are prohibited.

The university reserves the right to request that graduates change inappropriate attire before they will be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.