Academic stole

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An academic stole is a vestment used by various organizations to denote academic achievement. Its use includes membership of a professional organization,[1] a high school valedictorian award,[2] and adorns the academic regalia representing some university and college courses.

High-school valedictorian wearing gold academic stole (marked "honor")
Kente stole worn by African-American graduate

A stole takes the form of a cloth scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the awarding Society's colours and/or insignia. Though not a part of the officially recognised American Council on Education's Academic Costume Code, it has become common as part of the graduation attire at many high schools, colleges, and universities.[3]

In many universities in the Commonwealth, particularly Australia, the stole is worn by graduates for qualifications lower or higher than the degree of Bachelor, such as Certificate, Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Associate Diploma, Advanced Diploma and associate degree graduates. The color of the stole can either mean the general color for Degree, Diploma or Certificate graduates, or it can mean the Faculty of the award, e.g. dark blue might mean that the graduate has been awarded a Diploma or Certificate in the Arts Faculty.

Academic stoles made of kente cloth are often used by African Americans as a symbol of ethnic pride[4][5][6] as are serape stoles worn by Latinx graduates.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "OKU ACADEMIC ATTIRE". Omicron Kappa Upsilon, National Dental Honor Society. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
  2. ^ "Lewisburg School honors class of 2006". News-Democrat & Leader. 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2007-08-11.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Academic Costume Code and Ceremony Guide: Other Apparel". American Council on Education. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  4. ^ Lynch, Annette; Strauss, Mitchell D. (2014). Ethnic Dress in the United States: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 176. ISBN 9780759121508.
  5. ^ Matory, J. Lorand (2015). Stigma and Culture: Last-Place Anxiety in Black America. University of Chicago Press. p. 134. ISBN 9780226297736.
  6. ^ Boateng, Boatema (2011). The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana. University of Minnesota Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780816670024.
  7. ^ "Latinx Graduation".