E&H special hooding ceremony for Latina and Latino students.

Special Ceremonies

As we approach one of our most cherished moments of the academic year, commencement, the Division of Student Life, Student Success and Inclusion will also be celebrating our student achievements in hosting the Diversity & Inclusion Year-End Ceremonies.

These celebrations occur at many colleges and universities across the nation and recognize both academic and personal excellence within these communities. Student leaders have strongly advocated for such ceremonies on our campus. Please note, these ceremonies are intended to compliment commencement. 

These ceremonies will honor groups who have been historically underrepresented within higher education.

Appalachian Ceremony

The Appalachian Ceremony is a celebration created by Emory & Henry College to celebrate the achievements of Appalachian students who were born/raised in Appalachia, and/or identify as Appalachian. During the ceremony, a representative from each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with a stole. 

First Generation Ceremony

The First Generation Ceremony is a celebration created by Emory & Henry College to celebrate the achievements of students who are the first to graduate in their families. During the ceremony, a representative from each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with blue & gold graduation cords. 

The Global Scholars Ceremony

The First Global Scholars Ceremony is a celebration created by Emory & Henry College to celebrate the achievements of international students and students who have completed study abroad work and who are graduating. During the ceremony a representative from each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with an international stole featuring the flag of the student’s nation. 

The Lavender Ceremony

Lavender Ceremonies are annual ceremonies conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender students, and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the College. The Lavender Ceremony was created in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. Lavender is important to LGBTQ history. It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBTQ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and a color of pride for the community. During the ceremony, a representative for each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with a Lavender stole. 

The Raza Ceremony

The Raza Ceremony was originally created by LatinX students, staff, and faculty at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1973. It was a proactive strategy to restore pride, heritage, and sense of purpose to LatinX students, and give the opportunity to students to publicly thank individuals who have helped them throughout their educational career. The Raza Ceremony is celebrated at colleges and universities throughout the nation. During the ceremony, a representative for each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with serape stole. Reception to follow.

Donning of the Kente

The Donning of the Kente Ceremony will top off a day of special events. The kente cloth originated in 12th century West Africa in the country of Ghana, when royalty and important figures in Ghanaian society donned the brilliantly colored material during ceremonial events and special occasions. Today, it represents graduates’ pride in their African American heritage, honors their communal struggles and success, and celebrates their academic and personal accomplishments. During the ceremony, a representative from each student’s family and/or friends will present the graduate with a kente cloth stole.