The Commencement Committee of Buffalo State College supports the wearing of honors cords, medallions, stoles, and insignia at Commencement ceremonies by students who have earned these privileges through achieving academic honors, completing honors programs, as recipients of designated academic scholarship funds, academic unit or departmental honors, military service, induction into college-recognized honors societies, athletic distinction, or membership in good standing in college-recognized professional or service organizations, as well as students with an international affiliation.
Gold cords are reserved for students graduating with academic distinction (3.50–4.0 GPA, i.e., the gold honors cord). An eligibility list is provided in the bookstore, where students may purchase the gold cord. Notification to eligible students is provided by the Academic Affairs Office in March. There is no honors designation for master’s degree or certificate of advanced study students.
Gold tassels (on mortar boards) and orange Honors Program stoles are reserved for students graduating from the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program. The Honors Program administers and identifies funding for this program.
The red/white/blue cord is reserved to recognize honorably discharged U.S. veteran students, current students serving in the U.S. military (active duty, National Guard, Reserves), and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) students commissioned upon graduation. Veteran’s and military services in the Continuing Professional Studies Office administers the distribution of this cord.
Medals: Students winning the President’s Medal will receive the medal during the Commencement ceremony. Students winning the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence will receive their medals in Albany during the spring prior to Commencement and will be honored during the Commencement ceremony. Only these students may wear medals/medallions at Commencement.
Cords and stoles are appropriate Commencement accessories for college-sanctioned academic programs and organizations not mentioned above.* Medals, medallions, and special tassels are reserved for the highest academic honors: President’s Medal, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and Muriel A. Howard Honors Program.
*Avoid adopting gold cords and orange stoles as these are reserved for the Honors Program graduates.
**Programs may wish to consider distributing pins to recognize student success as an alternative to cords and stoles, as a student can then wear pins on various occasions in their professional lives. It is more convenient for graduates to wear multiple pins on their white Buffalo State stole or their gowns at commencement than multiple and competing honors cords and stoles.
Questions regarding appropriateness of an honors cord or accessory may be directed to Commencement, Academic Affairs Office, CLEV 519, (716) 878-5550.
Programs, departments, honors societies, and campus organizations may contact the college bookstore for assistance in identifying the appropriate cord or accessory signifying the specific academic achievement or honor.
Funding for honors cords and accessories is the responsibility of the individual student or the sponsoring program, honor society, office, or organization, as deemed appropriate by that program. Any honors program/society, scholarship fund, or recognized student professional or service organization that wishes to incorporate accessories into its program for students to wear during Commencement must administer the process for ordering, distributing, and identify funding sources.
Master’s degree graduates are responsible for purchasing their discipline-appropriate hoods, and certificate of advanced study (C.A.S.) graduates are responsible for purchasing their stoles, typically through the college bookstore.
The same policies regarding regalia accessories for bachelor’s graduates pertains to master’s degree and C.A.S. graduates.
Programs and organizations may distribute and award honors certificates, regalia, and accessories during their individual ceremonies and meetings as they choose. The above guidelines identify which honors cords, medals, medallions, and accessories are sanctioned for wearing during the Commencement ceremony.
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