Information for Students
Congratulations! Commencement is just around the corner. Visit the links below to help you plan for a joyous, safe and celebratory weekend.
Commencement honor cords and other recognitions
In addition to the cap and gown regalia, students who have earned recognition through academic and co-curricular achievements may wear approved honor cords or stoles.
An honor cord is an adornment consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end. Honor cords may be worn by students who have achieved academic distinction, been inducted into a University-recognized honor society, served in a military unit, or been selected as a member of the Top 20 Seniors. By tradition, more than one cord may be worn at the same time.
A graduation stole is a decorative vestment in the form of a long wide piece of cloth worn over both shoulders. The standard stole is embroidered with class year and the PSU seal, and may be worn by any graduate. Students may customize their stole with embroidered emblems or text that are representative of their PSU experience. Emblems and preset text may represent membership in University-recognized student organizations or University programs. Official PSU Stoles may be purchased and customized on the official PSU stole builder website. Orders must be placed by April 2.
All honor cords and stoles must be in keeping with the decorum of the event and adhere to the following policies, specifically:
Academic Honors: Green and white tassels will distinguish honors graduates. Seniors eligible for honors will be noted on the official bookstore list and given a green and white tassel when they are issued their cap and gown. Honors listed in the Commencement program and announced at the ceremony will be based on a student’s grade point average (GPA) at the end of the Winterim term prior to Commencement. Honors indicated on each diploma will be based on a student’s complete academic program, after all grades have been reported. Bachelor’s degree candidates must have accumulated at least 45 credits at PSU to be eligible for honors. There are three levels of honors: Summa Cum Laude: GPA of 3.75–4.00; Magna Cum Laude: GPA of 3.50–3.74; Cum Laude: GPA of 3.25–3.49
Academic Honor Societies recognized by the University are allowed to wear an honor cord(s) in the color of the organization as established by the national chapter. If a stole or medallion is available through the national chapter, those may also be worn.
University Honors Program: Students who have successfully completed the honors program as designated by the Honors Council are allowed to wear a white stole with green embroidery. Stoles are issued at the program’s gathering during the spring semester.
Top 20 Seniors: Students are selected based on their campus involvement, community involvement, character, GPA, and writing skills. Students are selected by members of the faculty and staff. The Top 20 Seniors are allowed to wear green and white cords and are recognized at Spring Convocation.
Military Service: Students who are serving or have served our country in any of the following capacities are allowed to wear red, white, and blue honor cords: Active duty in any branch of the US Military, Honorably discharged US Veteran, Participating in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, Students commissioning upon graduation. Eligibility and distribution of the cords is facilitated by the Veterans Service Center in conjunction with the Dean of Students Office and the Registrar’s Office.
Recognized Student Organizations and other University Programs: University recognized student organizations and programs are listed as preset text that may be embroidered on a standard PSU green stole on the PSU stole builder website. All recognized student organizations and programs may be included, and any recognized student organization or university program that does not see their text listed on the stole builder, or that would like to have an emblem set-up to be included as an option for embroidery, must contact the Student.Activities@plymouth.edu with their request. Individual’s orders must be placed by April 2.
Cost of cords and stoles: Funding for honor cords, stoles, and medallions is the responsibility of the individual student or the sponsoring honor society, student organization, program, or office as deemed appropriate by each group. If funding is provided by the organization/program, the process for ordering and distributing items is the sole responsibility of that organization/program. All other costs would defer to the individual student. The cost of the standard PSU stole, and custom embroidery of that stole on the PSU stole builder is the responsibility of the individual student.
Approval Process: University recognized organizations and programs wishing to request the addition of preset text or emblems on the stole builder for their organization or program should contact Student.Activities@Plymouth.edu. All requests must be submitted by no later than March 30th.
Bachelor degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.75 or above for work done at Plymouth are graduated summa cum laude. Bachelor degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.50 through 3.74 are graduated magna cum laude. Bachelor degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.25 through 3.49 are graduated cum laude. Degree candidates must have accumulated at least 45 credits at Plymouth to be eligible for graduation honors. Recognition is noted on the student’s diploma and permanent record.
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