Date Established: April 2015
Categories: Commencement Ceremonies
Responsible Offices: Academic Affairs
Date Last Revised: December 2019
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.
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. Cords are specific to academic achievement or honor societies.
*Avoid adopting gold cords (designates baccalaureate honors) or orange stoles (designates Honors Program graduates).
**Programs should 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 color cord or accessory signifying the specific academic achievement or honor.
Administrative and Financial Support
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 and Certificate of Advanced Study Students
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.
Aside From Commencement
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.
Regarding Commencement Communications and Protocol
Office Name: Academic Affairs Office
Office Address: Cleveland Hall 519
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