The People Who Wear Stoles at Graduation | Things To Know

Stoles at Graduation

If you are graduating from high school or college, you’ll need to plan a few things. The joy is in the air; there is plenty to do. Basically, you need to wear your gown and cap that you bought. You have the chance to doll up with your graduation stole, but it will depend on your accomplishments and contributions.

Who wears stoles at graduation? Graduation stoles could be worn by graduating students to recognize their field of study and achievements. It can also be worn by a leader or member of a school organization, sorority, or fraternity in college.

In this article, you’ll find out who can wear graduation stoles during the graduation ceremony. You will also discover the things you need to be aware of about graduation stoles and the reasons why students wear them.

Persons Who Can Wear Graduation Stoles

A graduation stole is a part of graduation apparel worn accompanying the gown and cap during the graduation ceremony. The graduation stole shows a student’s experiences in the last four years in high school or college. Graduation stoles can indicate academic achievements, academic honors, or top-of-the-class awards. Here are some of the few persons who can wear graduation stoles:

Graduating Students

Graduation stoles are commonly worn by graduating students to indicate their scholastic achievement. It also shows their participation in a dignified organization, student league, or sorority, or fraternity. Each graduating student can opt to wear an honors graduation stole, a national award society stole, or graduation stole for a fraternity or sorority.

Graduation stoles will recognize each graduating student because they come in distinct colors. Each color indicates a field of study, honor, or status. A couple of universities and programs have guidelines or rules on who can or can’t wear graduation stoles. It is necessary to consider these guidelines before wearing or customizing your graduation stole.

Leader/Member of School Organization

Leaders or members of a school organization act and show leadership in the organization. They set essential goals and motivate persons in the school organization. Some leaders or members are majoring in or studying organizational leadership.

Sorority or Fraternity

Sororities or fraternities are also called “Greek life.” These are social organizations or institutions in colleges or universities. They represent a sisterhood or brotherhood created for common purposes and objectives. Generally, members of sororities and fraternities can wear a decorated stole that features conventional colors.

Doctoral Graduates

A doctoral degree is a status that is usually awarded after several years of graduate school. In several academic disciplines, a doctorate is the highest degree one can achieve. Doctoral graduates can wear specific graduation stoles with recognizable colors and styles like linings or edgings.

African American Graduates

African Americans, also called “Black Americans,” are equalizing with their white peers connected to college degrees. They usually wear graduation stoles with kente cloth designs to honor their African heritage.

Stole of Gratitude

This is worn by a student to say “thank you” or extend his or her gratitude. The stole indicates gratitude for an individual or institution for providing funds or scholarships.

Things You Need to Know About Graduation Stoles

Whether you’re graduating this year or years from now, you should know about graduation stoles, including what they correspond to, where to purchase them, and their purpose. The situation will be different for every student. Here are eye-opening details about graduation stoles.

Graduation Stoles and Graduation Sashes Are the Same

Graduation stoles are synonymous with graduation sashes, and they have a lengthy background. They are used to accompany graduation get-ups, but both are basically the same. Graduation stoles, or sashes, are patterns or cloths that enfold the shoulders instead of going across the body.

Stoles Were Once Used by Clergy

Graduation stoles didn’t initially start from school. In fact, they were worn by Catholic and Anglican clergy for graduation ceremonies in the 12th century. They were also used to signify a dignitary’s position. Then, English students in medieval times wore them to recognize scholars.

Color Coding of Graduation Stoles

The color-coding of graduation stoles can have various interpretations, like school department, honors, and degree level. The core area of differentiation is the color of the stole. It can denote a student’s status at graduation, like cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. Below are the listings of the usual colors and graduates

Agriculture & Life Sciences                            Maize

Humanities, Arts, Letters                                White

Accountancy, Business, Commerce              Drab

Dentistry                                                          Lilac

Economics                                                      Copper

Education                                                        Light Blue

Engineering                                                     Orange

Fine Arts                                                         Brown

Forestry                                                           Russet

Journalism                                                      Crimson

Law                                                                 Purple

Library Science                                               Lemon

Medicine, Health, Sciences                            Green

Music                                                              Pink

Nursing                                                            Apricot

Pharmacy                                                       Olive Green

Philosophy and Political Science                   Dark Blue

Physical Education                                         Sage Green

Public Administration                                      Peacock Blue

Public Health                                                   Salmon Pink

Science                                                           Golden Yellow

Theology                                                         Scarlet

Veterinary Science and Husbandry                Gray

Consumer Sciences                                       Maroon

Note that these colors are relatively westernized ideas. Graduates who come from other countries or racial backgrounds might not feel any unification with these colors. They can opt to show their culture in some other way.

Regular Stoles Are Made From Satin

Satin is glossy and smooth. Be mindful of the fact that satin should be washed carefully. It is extremely advisable to machine wash the graduation stole gently.

Various Cultures Have Distinct Fabric for Their Stoles

There is an excellent range of choices for individuals to symbolize their cultures, such as kente stoles, Filipino stoles, Native American stoles, and serape stoles.

Graduation Stoles Are Customizable

If you want your graduation stole to have a different design and style, you can customize it by adding words, colors, or Greek letters. You can also incorporate your organization’s logos, words signifying your achievements or even your family’s name.

Several graduation stole companies provide perfectly customized stoles. They can have your school or organization’s name or badges printed or embroidered. You can also check out some companies that have online stores and order right away.

Graduation Stoles Include a Pocket

Not every graduation gown has convenient pockets. In fact, several graduation stoles are made to have pockets on the reverse side to keep your phone or wallet. This makes it easy to call your family once the graduation ceremony is done.

Graduation Stoles and Cords Deliver Different Functions

A lot of people are baffled by the function of a graduation stole and cord. They basically deliver the same purpose, but a graduation stole denotes your school organization or cultural background. On the other hand, the cord is used to show academic attainments, honors, or awards. Also, cords can be arranged on top of each other, while layering stoles is less than convenient.

Graduation Stoles Are Nonessential But Required

Not all schools require graduation stoles to be worn at the graduation ceremony. A lot of graduates choose not to wear them. However, a large number of students like to use them. It helps them show their attainments and the organizations they were engaged with.

Accessible Graduation Stole Design App

If you’re graduating this year or know somebody, you can experiment with a graduation stole design app. They provide various assistance to find the right graduation stole for you.

Reasons Why Graduating Students Wear Stoles

At present, graduates can wear stoles for various reasons. Perhaps it’s because you are pleased with your academic attainments or participation in a non-academic career. Some colleges recommend or require that their graduates wear a stole. At other times, graduates can wear stoles of gratitude to extend thanks to someone significant to them.

The choice to wear a graduation stole is entirely up to you. However, keep in mind that some colleges have policies on who can wear them and what kind of stole can be worn. Eventually, no one can pressure you to wear a stole, but it’s a unique opportunity granted to you.


Graduation ceremonies are fast approaching, and graduating students are thrilled to have their pictures taken. Aside from their caps and gowns, they want to add another feature to their attire: the graduation stole. A graduation stole is an adornment worn by graduates to show their achievements and affiliation with the school’s organizations. The wearing of a graduation stole is a big honor.

Graduation stoles have a lengthy background. They are testimonials of your college years. Your hardships and sacrifices are recognizable through all the honors, affiliations, and citations that stoles signify.

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