Alverno College’s Bestowing of the Kente is one of the oldest ceremonies of its kind in Wisconsin, and celebrated its 25th anniversary on December 8.
The Bestowing of the Kente is a rite of passage recognizing African American 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 African American students and their families to celebrate their heritage as well as their achievement. To date, more than 750 people have taken part in the ceremony. Milwaukee Times featured the 25th anniversary of the Kente ceremony in their most recent edition.
Alverno is one of only a handful of colleges in the U.S. that recognize African American graduates with the Bestowing of the Kente ceremony separate from graduation. In all, 18 women were honored at the Bestowing of the Kente ceremony.