Honors Recognition

The cords, stoles, and sashes of different colors worn by some of the graduates are part of a special Commencement tradition. They represent honors distinctions and recognize academic excellence or achievements in leadership.

Please contact your respective program or honor society from the list below to obtain cords or stoles. 


Honors Candidates

Summa cum laude:

4.00 GPA

Magna cum laude:

3.999 - 3.902 GPA

Cum laude:

3.902 - 3.812 GPA

*Summa cum laude, Magna cum laude, or Cum laude recognition do not receive cords or stoles. 


Awards of Distinction and Recognition

Biomedical Sciences Graduates of Distinction Award:
Red and white cords

Distinction in Writing:
Black, white, and light blue cords

Graduate Dean's Award:
Purple and white cords

International Students:
Sashes in the color of their national flag

McNair Scholars Program:
Black and white stoles

National Residence Hall Honorary:
Blue and white cords

Study Abroad Program Participants:
Sashes in the color of the flag of their host nation

Teacher Certifications:
Light blue cords

Veterans and Current Members of the U.S. Armed Forces:
Red, white, and blue cords


Honor Societies

Phi Kappa Phi:
The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1987 to recognize and encourage superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Senior undergraduate students selected for membership must be in the upper 10 percent of the class. The GVSU Chapter #217 is one of 262 at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Gold and blue cords

Frederik Meijer Honors College:
White stole and medallion

Alpha Kappa Delta:
Sociology honor society; teal cords

Alpha Phi Sigma:
Criminal justice honor society; royal blue and gold cords

Alpha Psi Omega:
 Theatre honor society; sky blue, yellow, and black cords

Beta Alpha Psi:
National honor society for accounting professionals; red cords

Beta Beta Beta:
Biological sciences honor society; red and green cords

Beta Gamma Sigma:
Business honor society; blue and gold cords

Delta Phi Alpha:
German national honor society; black, red, and gold cords

Dobro Slovo:
Slavic honor society; black and gold cords

Eta Sigma Phi:
Classics honor society; purple and gold cords

Gamma Sigma Alpha:
National academic Greek honor society; cardinal and gold thread cords

Gamma Theta Upsilon:
International geographic honor society; gold, blue, and brown cords

Iota Iota Iota:
National women and gender studies honor society; purple cords

Iota Tau Alpha:
Athletic training honor society; red, yellow and royal blue cords

Lambda Alpha:
Anthropology honor society; white, black, green, and red cords

Lamba Epsilon Chi:
Paralegal honor society; purple sash

Nu Lambda Mu:
Philanthropy and nonprofit administration honors society; gold and green cords

Omicron Delta Epsilon:
International economics honor society; royal blue and gold cords

Omicron Delta Kappa:
National leadership honor society; light blue, white, and black cords

Order of Omega:
National Greek leadership honor society; gold and white cords

Phi Alpha:
Social work honor society; royal blue and gold cords

Phi Alpha Theta:
History honor society; sky blue and red cords 

Phi Epsilon Kappa:
Physical education, health, and recreation honor society; black and gold cords

Phi Alpha Alpha:
Public administration honor society; light blue and gold cords

Pi Delta Phi:
French honor society; blue, white, and red cords

Pi Mu Epsilon:
Mathematics honor society; purple and gold cords

Pi Sigma Alpha:
Political science honor society; red, white, and black cords

Psi Chi:
Psychology honor society; royal blue and gold cords

Rho Lambda:
National sorority leadership recognition society; maroon and gold cords

Sigma Alpha Lambda:
National leadership and honors organization; navy, black, and gold cords

Sigma Delta Pi:
Spanish honor society; gold and red cords

Sigma Pi Sigma:
Physics honor society; green and white cords

Sigma Tau Delta:
English honor society; cardinal red and black cords

Sigma Theta Tau:
Nursing honor society; orchid cords

Tau Beta Pi:
Engineering honor society; orange and white cords

Upsilon Phi Delta:
Heath administration honor society; red and blue cords

Upsilon Pi Epsilon:
Computer science honor society; maroon and white cords