St. Bonaventure University will hold a new ceremony Commencement Weekend to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of degree-seeking domestic students of color.
The Multicultural Stole Ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in the Rigas Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The ceremony will celebrate the academic achievements of domestic students of color, while paying tribute to family, friends and others who have helped the students achieve this accomplishment. Each student has selected an individual who has played an instrumental role during their tenure at the university to present them with a stole, said Parker A. Suddeth, coordinator of the Damietta Center for Multicultural Student Affairs at St. Bonaventure.
The degree candidates will be presented with a Kente Stole, a symbol of academic excellence to be worn at Commencement Exercises the following day.
The Kente Stole, crafted in Ghana of vivid red, gold, green and white on a black background, symbolizes the rich history of domestic students of color.
The use of the graduation stole dates back as far as the Middle Ages. Individuals of stature, clergy, or those who bore a significant title wore stoles as a part of their official attire. The use of stoles in American academia dates back to the first college graduation ceremonies.
St. Bonaventure’s 156th Commencement Exercises will be held Sunday, May 15, in the Reilly Center Arena. The procession begins at 10:08 a.m. with exercises beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Tickets are required.)
Dan Barry, a New York Times columnist, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and St. Bonaventure alumnus, will deliver the keynote address.
Barry, a member of the Class of 1980, will be among four distinguished guests receiving honorary degrees. Also being honored are Fr. André Cirino, O.F.M., of Immaculate Conception Province; and Maureen and Ray Dee, ’64, longtime benefactors of the university.
Commencement Weekend activities begin Friday, May 13, with the annual Candlelight Induction Ceremony at 8:45 p.m. in front of De La Roche Hall. During the ceremony, degree candidates are welcomed into the St. Bonaventure Alumni Association. (The rain site is the University Chapel.)
All Commencement participants and guests of all faith traditions are invited to the Baccalaureate Mass to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, in the Reilly Center Arena. The public is welcome. Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, will be the presider, and Fr. André will be the homilist.
Saturday’s events also include the commissioning of six ROTC cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, which takes place at 10 a.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and an Honors Awards Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the Reilly Center Arena.
A complete schedule of St. Bonaventure’s Commencement Weekend events is available at http://www.sbu.edu/commencement.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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