Alverno College Celebrates Students of Color With Rites of Passage
In a tradition that goes back more than 25 years, Alverno College will honor graduating students of color in various cultural ceremonies on Saturday, May 13.
Since 1994, Alverno has held a Bestowing of the Kente, a rite of passage recognizing Black students who are graduating seniors, earning a master’s degree, or completing a certification program. Each honoree is presented with a Kente cloth – a hand-woven ceremonial stole featuring bright colors that honor West African heritage. During the ceremony, the students honor and thank the loved ones who have supported them on their educational journeys. The ceremony is a way for Black students and their families to celebrate their heritage as well as their achievement. Alverno is one of only a handful of colleges in the U.S. that recognize Black graduates with the Bestowing of the Kente ceremony separate from graduation, and over 900 people have taken part in the ceremony since its inception. This ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the Bucyrus Conference Center.
The Asian Rites of Passage is the newest ceremony to be added to the slate of cultural celebrations, and will take place at 11 a.m. in Alum Hall. This ceremony honors the achievements of Asian students, who will each be presented with a stole representative of their heritage. Graduates will have the opportunity to share their gratitude for the loved ones who have supported them throughout their college careers. Dancers from the Hmong Friendship Group will perform, along with singer Mary Thao.
The Latinas con Fuerza ceremony is open to students of Latinx descent who are graduating seniors, earning a master’s degree, or completing a certification program. Each honoree is presented with a sarape – a colorful stole. Students taking part also honor someone who supported them through their educational journey, reading words of gratitude as the sarapes are presented. The event highlights the achievements of our Latinx graduates, and connects current graduates with Latinx alums in order to strengthen their network. It is also meant to increase the visibility of Latinx people in higher education and reinforce the notion that our newest alums should serve as mentors to future graduates. This is the only event of its kind honoring Latinx graduates in southeastern Wisconsin. Other local Latinx graduation ceremonies are religious in nature and are attached to church or a Baccalaureate Mass, while this is a stand-alone rite of passage. This ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the Bucyrus Conference Center.
A reception will follow each of the ceremonies, and the public is invited to attend.
Published on May 8, 2023 | Categories: press release