Students of Color Recognition Ceremony

Wednesday, April 24 at 2 p.m., Memorial Chapel


The Students of Color Recognition Ceremony is a commencement event to honor students of color who have completed undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs at the University of Redlands. This ceremony commemorates and honors graduates as their families and loved ones celebrate their dedication and hard work. The Students of Color Recognition Ceremony reinforces the mutual pursuit of scholarship, extends the sense of a multi-dimensional community, and introduces  of R Bulldogs to their newly earned alumni status.

We've created a FB page here where you can join to post photos, videos, and congratulatory posts for all our graduates!

Registration to participate in the Students of Color Ceremony is required. You can anticipate ceremony information, details, and updates will be emailed to you upon registration. The registration deadline is Monday, April 15.

Please Register Here

What to anticipate at the Students of Color Recognition Ceremony:

  • Program will consist of speakers, entertainment, and the cording ceremony.
  • Arrive early, as the celebration will begin promptly.
  • Dress to represent you! You may dress business casual, attire significant to your heritage and culture, or your commencement regalia (cap or gown).
  • Seating is open for the graduates and their guests to sit together.

For immediate questions, please email

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I anticipate for the Students of Color Recognition Ceremony?

While this annual commencement event is different every year, the organizers' goals are to ensure that there is a student speaker, a U of R alum speaker, and a cording ceremony.

I am graduating this year. How should I dress for the event?

You have choices. You may dress business casual,  attire significant to your heritage and culture, or your commencement regalia (cap and gown). Most often, graduates wear business casual. Graduates who wear their regalia do so if they are coming from or going to a commencement ceremony where regalia is required.

What is seating like? I am trying to plan the best seats for my guests and me.

Students and family may be seated rows 11 and on of the West and East columns and rows four and on in the center rows.  Please see the seating chart. Seating together allow graduates and their guests to participate in heartfelt moments of the event. Since seating is on a first-come basis, we recommend that you arrive at the Memorial Chapel at least 40 minutes before the start of the program. 

Why is registration required for this event? 

For two important reasons: First, maintain contact via emails with registrants. The registration process allows us to ensure that we stay within the capacity of the Chapel. 

Is there designated seating for U of R Faculty and Staff Members? 

University faculty & staff may sit in the first 10 rows of the West and East columns of the Chapel. Refer to the seating chart. 

What is the Cording Ceremony? 

Graduates attending the event will receive a red, black, white, and gold Cord with tassels. During the Cord ceremony portion of the event, the emcee(s) will request families and loved ones to stand up with their graduates, where they are seated, to say something heartfelt about their accomplishments and future. Then, place the Cord over the graduate. The emcee will start with the graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business & Society, and the School of Education. The Students of Color Recognition Ceremony Cord can be worn during the commencement events to show pride in every graduate's culture and heritage.​

Is there significance to the colors of the Students of Color Cord?

The 2023 Students of Color Recognition planning team felt that the four colors are symbolic throughout Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. Carlos Chavez '23 shared with the participants the meaning of each color and how it ties into celebrating the academic milestone of students of color. Carlos Chavez '23 shared with the participants the purpose of each color and how it ties into celebrating the educational milestone of students of color. He shared: Red symbolizes action, strength, and passion. Red draws attention like no other color and radiates intense energy that motivates us to act. In this context, it can represent the ancestors' blood, which can evoke anger and a call to action.  

  • Black represents power, elegance, sophistication, status, and formality. It can also convey darker emotions, such as grief, mourning, mystery, and rebellion. When given to people of all colors, it can represent a recognition and celebration of the complexity and diversity of the human experience.
  • White represents purity, simplicity, and cleanliness. It can also symbolize peace, innocence, and new beginnings. When given to people of all colors, it can represent the idea of unity and equality, as it is a color that transcends racial boundaries.
  • Gold represents wealth and success, as well as generosity and compassion. It is often associated with optimism, enlightenment, and attaining one's full potential. When given to people of all colors, it can represent the idea of generational wealth and the pursuit of prosperity for all.

Is there a fee for the Students of Color Recognition Ceremony cords? 

Yes, a cord costs $6.00, which you can pay online. Once you have ordered your cord, you will receive details on how to pick your cord up at Campus Bookstore, open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.​

How many guests may I invite? 

There are no limits on the number of guests you may invite, but we do ask you to be considerate of your peers.

Will we be walking across the stage?

The one-hour pre-commencement event does not allow time for students to walk across the stage. 

Students of Color Recognition Ceremony Seating Chart​

  • University faculty & staff may sit in the first 10 rows of the West and East
  • columns.
  •  The President, President’s Cabinet, and Board of Trustees may sit on the first three
  • rows  of the center columns.
  • Students and family may be seated rows 11 and on of the West and East columns and rows four and on in the center rows.  Please see the seating chart.