A guide to Skidmore Commencement regalia
You've heard the proclamation: Creative Thought Matters. It’s the thread that ties us together as a community while simultaneously emboldening us to celebrate our differences.
Skidmore's Commencement day is a living example of that core conviction, and you don't have to look much further than to the regalia Skidmore graduates wear to see how.
A community of individuals
At Commencement, all Skidmore graduates don the same matching black caps and gowns, uniting them as the Class of 2021 and connecting them with college graduates throughout history.
But they also wear symbols of individual accomplishment — sashes, hoods, stoles and cords in red, purple, yellow, pink, teal, blue, white, green and gold — and creative expression — a decorated mortarboard, a flower lei or perhaps a bedazzled robe.
Those wearing each item may represent the shared experience of hundreds or the unique experience of one individual.
In one brief ceremony, the unique stories of individual students come together to complete Skidmore's chapter on the Class of 2021.
For more on the historic symbolism behind Skidmore Commencent attire, we've put together this guide.
2021 Face masks
While all graduates will wear the traditional black undergraduate robe, Skidmore uses hoods to symbolically recognize whether a student has earned a Bachelor's of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.
Multifaceted academic experienced are further celebrated through distinct medals, pins and cords that are bestowed upon graduates at special pre-Commencement ceremonies such as Honors Convocation.
White or yellow Hoods
Those receiving a Bachelor of Arts will don hoods trimmed in white, a color representing
the arts. Those earning a Bachelor of Science will don hoods trimmed with golden yellow,
a color symbolizing the sciences.
Gold medallions on green straps
Periclean Honors Forum
Seniors wearing this medallion are members of the Periclean Honors Forum. To be a
member, they must complete Honors Forum courses, a senior-year capstone experience
and an approved citizenship project. They must also demonstrate exemplary academic
and social integrity and have a final GPA of 3.5 or higher with no history of two
consecutive semesters below 3.5.
Flag lapel pins
Study abroad countries
Seniors from the Class of 2021 studied abroad in 50 different countries. Those who participated in an international or domestic off-campus program through Skidmore may wear a flag of the host nation where they studied.
All college honors
Seniors with distinguished academic records who are graduating cum laude (3.650–3.749 GPA), magna cum laude (3.750–3.899 GPA) or summa cum laude (3.900–4.000 GPA).
My cords are humbling and surreal. Before Skidmore, I feel like no one really took the time to get to know me or see what I had to offer. But I've been recognized here by my peers, faculty and school community just for being myself, and working extremely hard. That is a very special feeling — being recognized for being me."Eliza Kuperschmid '21
For seniors who meet various criteria or achieve academic standing specific to their department or program. While the qualifications differ, many involve having a GPA of 3.5 or higher for all work in the major, the completion of a capstone or thesis, a GPA of 3.0 or higher on all Skidmore work and approval by the department’s faculty.
Teal Cords, blue Cords, pink Cords and more
Various honor societies
For the hundreds of graduating seniors who have been inducted into various honor societies for high academic achievement.
Some of these include Alpha Kappa Delta (sociology), Delta Phi Alpha (German), Eta Sigma Phi (classics), Nu Rho Psi (neuroscience), Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics), Phi Alpha Theta (history), Phi Beta Kappa (all college), Pi Delta Phi (French), Pi Mu Epsilon (math), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Delta Pi (world languages) and Sigma Pi Sigma (physics).
These cords and stoles are worn by seniors who wish to carry symbols of diversity with them at Commencement.
They were given by the Offices of the Dean of Students and Student Diversity Programs at two small ceremonies prior to Commencement.
As the first child in my family to graduate from college, this is meaningful not only for me, but for the community from which I've come in pursuit of greater opportunity.Peris Tushabe '21
Rainbow or lavender Cords
For seniors who wish to signify pride in being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and in their achievements despite the obstacles they may have experienced.
bLUE AND wHITE cORDS
Jewish student life
For seniors who wish to signify being active members of the Jewish community, continuing their journey of practice, learning and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).
bLUE AND Orange cORDS
For seniors who wish to signify being actively involved in Skidmore Christian Fellowship.
gREEN AND Purple Cords
For seniors who have led STEMpathy, a campus organization that supports students of color in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
WHITE AND BLUE cORDS
For seniors who wish to signify their involvement with the Opportunity Program at Skidmore, celebrating their academic achievements despite barriers placed before them.
Stoles with Flags, stripes or a rainbow of colors
Members of the Class of 2021 come from 43 different countries. Skidmore offers, and many international seniors choose to wear, a stole inspired by the flag of their home country, a nod to where their stories began. Flags of their countries will also be featured on the Commencement stage.
Stoles with a Yellow and green woven pattern
Seniors wearing this stole are part of the first generation in their family to graduate
from a four-year college. Many choose to wear this stole to celebrate their accomplishments
and the hurdles they have overcome.
BLUE OR BLACK Stoles with Red, GREEN and gold STRIPES
Students of color
The symbolism of the Kente is hundreds of years old, dating back to the legend of Ananse the spider in Ghana. Today, Kente cloth designs vary and different designs and colors carry special meanings and stories.
Many students from various cultural and ethnic heritages choose to wear this stole to acknowledge their ancestry, celebrate their pride and stand in solidarity with graduates of color at Skidmore and across generations.
Student life and leadership
Representing or serving the Skidmore community — through student government, athletics, club leadership or other college service — is a significant point of pride for many graduates and the College. In turn, there are a number of unique stoles and cords students can wear that honor their efforts.
Green Stoles with the Thoroughbred logo
Seniors wearing this stole are members of one of Skidmore’s 19 varsity teams. The stole symbolizes each student’s dedication to excelling on and off the field and in their classrooms, laboratories and studios.
“My involvement in Skidmore Athletics has been an extremely important and worthwhile experience. Wearing the stole at Commencement represents that, plus my appreciation for and pride in being part of the athletics community.”Brian Kowalski '21
Green stole with the skidmore ems logo
For service to the Skidmore community through Skidmore College Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS) team, a New York State basic life-support,
first-response agency staffed by trained students.
white stole with the skidmore peer health educators logo
Peer Health Educators
For seniors who served the community as peer health educators, a volunteer group associated
with Skidmore Health Promotions. They help students maintain healthy lifestyles and
make safe choices related to sexual health, nutrition, fitness, relationships and
For members of the Student Government Association Executive Committee for representing the student body in academic, financial, student life, club and inclusion affairs.
Yellow and green Cords
For seniors who showed demonstrated interest in furthering Skidmore’s mission by participating in community-building, fundraising and support activities.
Gold and white Cords
For seniors who have aided the Office of Admissions in growing Skidmore through service as tour guides and hosts of prospective students and families.
Senior Class Council Officers
For senior class officers to recognize their service in representing their peers on student senate and other student engagements.
Anything one of a kind
Because Creative Thought Matters
For seniors who want to express their stories, friend groups, clubs and more as they cross the stage and become alumni of Skidmore College.