Why Do Some Graduates Have Cords, Sashes, Medals, and Hoods?

Posted by ENC Student Life on Apr 27, 2017 12:57:51 PM

At graduation you will see students wearing more than just the black gown. Students will be wearing brightly colored sashes, braided cords, hoods, and even medals! Ever wonder how those students got their accessories? We talked to the right people and found out what each of them mean.


  • Blue and Gold Cord - Honors Scholar Society
  • Red and White Braided Cord - Students who played a sport through their senior year 
  • Light and Dark Blue Braided Cord - Psy Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology
  • Red - Phi Delta Lambda National Honors Society
  • Red and Blue Cords - Phy Alph Theta, National Honors Society in History 
  • Red and Gold - Valedictorian and Salutatorian


  • Medal with Blue Ribbon - Psychology Honors Society
  • Medal with Blue and Yellow Ribbon - Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society
  • Medal with Black Ribbon - Chi Alpha Sigma, National College Athlete Honors Society



The current regalia worn in higher education institutions across the country and the world, has a long and rich backstory based upon European culture. The sashes are the intersection of cultures where students represent higher education as it was and is, as well as their chosen cultural identity.

  • African Diaspora - Kente pattern
  • Latin America and Spanish speaking Caribbean - Multi-colored stripped pattern
  • Chinese - White silk with gold embroidery or red silk with gold embroidery
  • Asian - Red floral print
  • Pacific Islander - Black hibiscus
  • Native American - Multi-colored geometric pattern
  • Middle Eastern - Celestial




Hoods are awarded to students who are receiving a masters degree. Each hood is lined with black and red, ENC's colors, as well as the color assigned to their area of study.

  • Light Blue - Master of Education Degree
  • Yellow - Master of Business Management Degree
  • Tan - Master of Marriage and Family Therapy Degree

yellow hoods.jpg

Then of course there are some students who decorate their regalia with accessories all their own! 


Written by ENC Student Life

Student life in Quincy, MA at Eastern Nazarene College - Empowering students, enriching lives, and educating the next generation. The mission of Student Development at Eastern Nazarene College is to support the mission of the College by fostering a distinctly Christian living and learning community that facilitates the holistic development of students. Valuing the diversity of our students we seek to cultivate and empower their personal growth, health, and success in order to enrich their total learning experience and prepare them to lead and serve in the world.

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Topics: Graduation