Multicultural Graduation Celebration

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosts the annual Multicultural Graduation Celebration to celebrate Wichita State University's diverse students in honoring our graduates and their rite of passage. We are delighted that these graduates have reached the doorsteps to graduation and would like to give them a Kente stole, an old African Ashanti tribe tradition, symbolizing the completion of their rite of passage.

This celebration is by invitation only. Graduates will receive an invitation through their Shockers email each year. In addition, a Multicultural Graduation Reception is held each fall to honor our fall graduates.

A group of multicultural graduates taking a photo together.

What is Multicultural Graduation Celebration?

The Multicultural Graduation Celebration (often named differently at other institutions) is a long-standing tradition celebrated at many universities to honor multicultural students graduating with a Bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree. Many of these celebrations derive from the early recognition ceremonies of African American graduates. Wichita State University has followed in the footsteps to host the first graduation celebration in 1995. Over the years, the graduation celebration evolved into recognizing multicultural students and their academic achievements. At the ceremony, graduates are presented Kente stoles, an old African Ashanti tribe tradition, in symbolization of the completion of their rite of passage. This is different than the commencement at Wichita State University. The Multicultural Graduation Celebration is a way to bring different students from all walks of life together to one common path, which is celebrating their success.

Is there a celebration for fall graduates?

Absolutely! The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosts a Multicultural Graduation Reception to honor our fall graduates and their rite of passage. Graduating students will receive an invitation from the office to participate in this reception.

History of the Kente Stole

The Kente stole was developed in the 17th Century A.D. by the Ashanti people. It has its roots in a long tradition of weaving in Africa, dating back to approximately 3,000 B.C. The term Kente derives from the term Kenten, which means a basket. The first Kente weavers used raffia fibers to weave cloths that looked like kenten. It is a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance. Kente was the cloth of Kings. Overtime, the use of Kente became more widespread; however, its importance has remained and held in high esteem in the entire country of Ghana.

The Kente cloth also symbolizes the completion of a rite of passage and movement into the next phase of one's life. What you receive is an authentic Kente, handmade by the villagers through the Nananom Foundation in Ghana, Africa.

Photos from Previous Multicultural Graduation Celebrations