Academic Regalia

According to the American Council on Education, the origins of academic dress date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities were taking form. The ordinary dress of the scholar, whether student or teacher, was the dress of a member of the clergy. This made sense because, with few exceptions, the medieval scholar had made a commitment to serve the church. Long gowns were worn and may have been necessary for warmth in unheated buildings.

Each portion of the clothing worn by faculty and students in commencement ceremonies represents achievement in an individual area of the university:

  • Scarlet and Silver Stoles denote membership in the Alpha Epsilon Lambda, National Academic and Leadership Honor Society
  • Red and Black Honor Cords denote membership in Sigma Tau Delta, International Honor Society in English
  • Maroon Ribbons with Medallion denote Henderson Honors College Scholars
  • Blue and Green Ribbons with Medallion denote membership in Alpha Chi, National Honor Society
  • Gold Stoles denote membership in Gamma Beta Phi, National Honor Society
  • Red and Blue Honor Cords denote membership in Phi Alpha Theta, International History Honor Society
  • Purple and Green Honor Cords denote membership in Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society for Education Majors
  • Red and White Honor Cords denote membership in Lambda Pi Eta, International Honor Society in Communication
  • Blue and Gold Honor Cords denote membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, Honor Society for Business Programs accredited by AASCB International
  • Teal Honor Cords denote membership in Alpha Kappa Delta, International Honor Society in Sociology
  • Silver and Ruby Honor Cords denote membership in Pi Kappa Delta, National Honor Society in Debate and Forensics
  • Purple and White Honor Cords denote membership in Theta Alpha Phi, Honorary Dramatic Fraternity
  • Burgundy and Gold Honor Cords and Tassels denote membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda, national Honor Society for Non-traditional Students
  • Blue and White Cords denote membership in National Student Nurses’Association
  • Green and White Stoles denote membership in Sigma Pi Sigma, The Physics Honor Society
  • Blue and Platinum Honor Cords denote membership in Psi Chi, International Honor Society in Psychology
  • Rose Pink and Silver cords denote membership in Kappa Mu Epsilon, Mathematics Honor Society
  • Double Gold Cords denote Alpha Mu Gamma, National Collegiate Foreign Language, Honor Society
  • Red and Black Cords denote TRIO/Student Support Services graduate