Dates & Events

Personalized Graduation Stoles: Help Your Student Show Pride in Their Heritage

By Francine Fluetsch, UC Santa Cruz

Ah, graduation. The moment where your student will finally get to walk across that stage, showing off their accomplishments, and you get to stand and clap and scream, “that’s my kid!”

You don’t want this to be just any day — this is the day for your student. Help them make it special and different by investing in a customized stole that shows off who they are and where they come from.

Usually, graduation attire is very uniform, but now, things are changing for the better. With U.S. politics being as they are, students who are going to walk this June are planning to shake it up a bit and add some diversity to the uniformity that is graduation.

Students have always decorated their caps to add a touch of personality, but now they can represent their individuality and heritage with ethnic-themed graduation stoles. If you are thinking about getting one for your student to help represent their roots this coming graduation, you can check out the stoles that are being sold on Graduation-Stoles.com and Goldcoastafrica.com.

According to this press release, “Mexican and Mexican-American graduates will wear colorful serapes that reflect their heritage. A colorful, traditional Native American design is also available. African and African-American graduates can purchase hand-woven Kente stoles that are imported from Ghana.”

These are just a few ideas that you can share with your student as they get ready to take the stage.

Some students will proudly be displaying “son/daughter of an immigrant” to dispel stigmas and stereotypes circulating immigrants, especially right now with politics going haywire over this issue. It’s a great way for the graduates to show where they stand on the matter, and that they are not planning to let anything get in their way. Graduation is the time for them to look towards the future with their heads held high, showing off where they come from, and how they plan to lead in their future positions.

Thinking of getting a personalized stole for your student or telling them about it? The press release also suggests personalizing the stoles with names, dates, flags, achievements, majors, special quotes, dedications, and nicknames. Or, simply rely on the stoles to make their own statement with their colors. Stoles are available for the LGBTQ community, Greek letter fraternities, and sororities.

Honestly, I think getting a personalized stole to show off who you are, where you come from, and what you’ve achieved is a great way to add to your special day. I wish this had been a thing when I graduated from my undergrad, but I definitely plan to take full advantage when I graduate from grad school! Anyone can get a plain old university one, but the times are calling for something different, something unique. Make your student’s graduation one to remember with a stole that is completely unique to them.

If you are planning on participating in this, be sure to order the stole early so you don’t have to pay a rush fee and won’t have to be stressing about it arriving on time. Your student only gets to walk once (for undergrad that is), but this will be a memento to cherish for a lifetime. They can hang their stole in their room or their new office to give them that little reminder of all of their hard work.

Congrats to all of our seniors who are graduating this year! May your futures be bright and may you help bring about much-needed change to our world.

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