Cords, Medallions and Stoles

Honors Cords: Andrews University graduates may be eligible for several honor cords that are available the week before graduation.
Students should double-check eligibility:
  • Red (a generic cord for both undergraduates and graduate students and signifying membership in a discipline-specific honors society)
  • Gold, blue and white (for undergraduates only and signifying successful completion of the J. N. Andrews Honors Program, an earned 3.5 overall GPA, and complete SAGES)
  • White (for undergraduates earning a GPA graduation distinction--see below) 

Designations are conferred at graduation on undergraduate students who, one semester before graduation, have completed 16 semester hours at Andrews University with the following overall GPAs:
    3.500–3.749  Cum Laude
    3.750–3.899  Magna Cum Laude
    3.900–4.000  Summa Cum Laude

Both the Andrews and Cumulative GPAs must be a minimum of 3.50 in order to be considered for the above designations.

Additional cords and medallions are available (please note that unapproved adornments are not permitted in graduation ceremonies):

  • Silver cord - for Andrews University student missionary/task force workers. Cord distributed by the Office of Campus Ministries
  • Red, white and blue cord - for honorably discharged U.S. veteran students, current students serving in the U.S. military (active duty, National Guard, Reserves), and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) students commissioned upon graduation. Graduating veterans are asked to please bring military ID when picking up Veterans cords. 
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Medallion on blue ribbon - for inducted members. Medallion distributed by Phi Kappa Phi at an induction ceremony
  • Randall Leadership Medallion - for Undergraduate Leadership Certificate and Minor graduates. Medallion distributed by the Office of Undergraduate Leadership
Cultural Stoles: Andrews University supports the wearing of University-approved stoles to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our campus. Following are stoles currently worn with graduation regalia: 
Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) Stole

The Adventist Colleges Abroad stole is worn by participants who have studied at an international ACA member institution for a year, providing an integral aspect of the program of study for many Andrews University students with a major in languages. It benefits the student’s cultural, academic and linguistic proficiency. The ACA stole features Andrews University’s colors (blue and gold), the ACA logo and the University logo as well as the flags of the countries in which the student has studied. This commemorative stole emphasizes the University’s global focus and recognizes its students’ decisions to pursue cultural immersion and foreign language learning as a means of embracing this mission. 

AULA Latino Stole
The AULA (Andrews University Latino Association) Latino stole is worn by participants who identify with the Latin American cultural heritage. The colors chosen for the stole, red and white, are present in most Latin American flags and represent two important principles. Red symbolizes the sacrifice of those who died fighting for the freedom and liberty of Latin American countries. White represents the hope that Latin American countries would always be free. AULA (written on the stole) refers to the unity of the diverse Latin American cultures represented in the U.S. in search of academic, social, spiritual, financial and emotional dreams and achievements. Stole distributed by the Office of International Languages & Global Studies ($10 payable in advance of stole ceremony by cash or check)

Eastern Asian Heritage Stole
The Eastern Asian Heritage stole is worn by participants who identify with the cultural heritage of the countries of China, Japan, Hong Kong, North/South Korea, Taiwan, Macau and Mongolia. Inspired by traditionally royal costume, blue represents immortality and advancement, and silver represents grace and sophistication. The flags of each of the seven countries as well as four Eastern Asian symbols appear on the stole: the crane, representing good fortune and longevity, clouds and waves as symbols of power and resilience against adversity, and the cherry blossom representing beauty and purity. 

Filipino Bayani Stole
The Filipino Bayani stole is worn by participants who identify with the Filipino American cultural heritage. Inspired by three of the four colors in the Philippine flag, red represents patriotism and valor, blue represents peace, truth, and justice and yellow represents unity, freedom, democracy, and sovereignty. The word bayani means “hero”. However, bayani encompasses more than being a hero, it represents a person’s commitment for the greater good, for the community and the nation and accurately describes the graduates’ success in their academic journeys and to take up the mantle as leaders in wherever their aspirations take them.

Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Stole
The Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander stole will be worn by participants who identify under the Oceania subregions of Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga, Hawai’i, etc.), Melanesia (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New  Caledonia, etc.) and Micronesia (Guam, Palau, Marshall Islands, etc.) Although NHPI cultures collectively share nuanced commonalities, they are a diverse people of differing languages, customs and art. The NHPI cultural stole patterns represent various attributes of the Pasefika: the shark’s tooth is rooted in historical and cultural significance, which for centuries, has been a symbolic portrayal of strength, protection and power, and can be traced back to the seafaring traditions and profound connection to the ocean characterizing the life of Pacificans; the spearhead represents skill, opportunity, success, prosperity, and the spirit of service; the manulua is a depiction of birds’ wings, portraying unity, reciprocity and harmony; the royal blue color speaks to the vast Pacific Ocean voyaged by its seafaring people; the yellow exudes energy, happiness and friendship that is synonymous of the Pacific Islander hospitality; and in finality, it would be remiss not to signify the center of Pasefika culture: God. The ancestors of the peoples of the Pacific were initially pagan believers drawing upon nature for spiritual decree; however, when Christianity was introduced, its people accepted and embraced the living God, Yahweh. The white stands for God’s righteousness and purity. These designs have been passed down from generation to generation and are engrained in the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander way of life.

Indonesian Batik Stole
The Indonesian Batik stole is worn by participants who identify with the Indonesian cultural heritage. The stole is blue and gold, the University colors, and is embellished with batik, a traditional fabric that is an important part of life as an Indonesian. Specific designs are worn for special occasions and other everyday designs are worn regularly in work and academic settings. The Andrews Society of Indonesian Students’ motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means “Unity in Diversity.” Graduates wear the stole as a way to honor their homeland, the University, and all they have achieved during their time at Andrews.

Kente Stole
The Kente stole is worn by participants who identify with the Pan-African cultural heritage. On the Kente stole the gold emblem is an Adinkra symbol called NEA ONNIM NO SU A, OHU. This translates to “He who does not know can know from learning.” It symbolizes knowledge, lifelong education and the continued quest for knowledge. The red, black, green and gold are the Pan-African (people of African birth, descent or heritage) colors. Stole distributed by BSCF (pre-order by e-mail).

Southern Asia Cultural Stole
The Southern Asia Stole is worn by participants who identify with the cultural heritage of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Though geographically all these countries and cultures are close, there are some sharp differences between them. The paisley (boteh) design in the stole is a common design in South Asia, and is used in various decorations for celebrations of significant events. The colors, green and gold, are represented in the different countries' flags and/or have some significant cultural significance to each country. The stole is presented to graduates by previous Southern Asian graduates, akin to the elders in the community giving advice to the youth before they go out as independent individuals.