College plans to begin granting honor cords

The Allegheny College Academic Standards and Awards Committee has decided to award honor cords to students who graduate with a 3.9 GPA as well as provide a medallion for the valedictorian or valedictorians to wear at Commencement on May 13.

Graduates are permitted to wear stoles, medallions, cords and pins in order to recognize their identity, heritage and membership in campus organizations, according to the college’s cord and stole policy. This policy was approved for the 2016 Commencement ceremony, but for 2017, the college plans to provide honor cords for summa cum laude graduates and a medallion for the valedictorian or valedictorians.

Registrar and Associate Dean of Academics Ian Binnington said that he noticed no students were wearing anything from the college at last year’s graduation.

“Those are students who have really a pretty amazing academic record — a 3.9 GPA over the course of four years at Allegheny. It happens maybe 12 to 15 students a year. It’s a pretty impressive accomplishment,” Binnington said. “Those students have always been honored individually at graduation.”

Summa cum laude graduates used to walk across the stage last; however, they will now be honored first.

Tyanna Harris, ’19, served as a student representative on the Academic Standards and Awards Committee when the decision was made.

“If I was [graduating with a 3.9 GPA], then I would definitely want something to show my hard work,” Harris said.

Only the students who achieve summa cum laude status upon graduation are the only graduates who will be receiving honor cords at no additional cost. Cari Koerner, ’17, said she thinks something should be done for all students who graduate with honors.

“I think it’s nice that the administration wants to recognize and support those who have worked hard,” Koerner said. “Everyone has a different major, so to achieve any sort of academic honors is a great achievement.”