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Kimmel Student Involvement Center

Annual Events

Kimmel Student Involvment Center

Black Graduation Celebration

The Kimmel Student Involvement Center, the SOAR Office, Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion, and the Office for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will host SIUE's Black Graduation Celebration on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 from 4pm - 5:30pm in the Conference Center of the Morris University Center.

What is the Black Graduation Celebration?

The Black Graduation Celebration is a pre-commencement celebration to honor African and African American students who, through unyielding determination and academic achievements, have successfully completed an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  The ceremony acknowledges the sense of scholarly community among students and honors African and African American culture and culminates with a Kente Stole presentation.

Participation in the SIUE Black Graduation Celebration is open to all SIUE undergraduate and graduate students who will earn their degree in Fall 2018.  Only students who have registered by Friday, November 30, 2018 at Noon are guaranteed to be listed in the program, receive their recognition certificate and Kente stole.

Registration is now open and can be done here: 

Registration will close on Friday, November 30, 2018 at Noon.  No exception.  No additional participants will be added after this date.  After you register, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Kelly Jo Karnes at some point prior to the ceremony with details/expectations for the event.

Note:  There are a limited amount of National Pan-Hellenic Council (Divine 9) stoles available for graduating members who indicate so on their registration form.

BGC Event Details

We ask that you please arrive at the MUC no later than 3:30pm.  You will need to check-in and complete a card to be read as you cross the stage.  We do request that all participants please wear mostly black (dark colored) clothing for the event.  There will be a large group photo taken after each person has recieved their stole.

There will a reception directly following the ceremony for participants and their guests.

The Kente Ceremony

Each graduate participating in the Black Graduation Celebration will receive a Kente stole, native to Ghana.  Though Kente was developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti people, it has its roots in a long tradition of African weaving, dating back to about 3000 B.C.  Often reserved for royalty, the stole is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values and political thought.

SIUE Black Graduation Celebration is...

  • An event for graduates to invite your family, close friends and those most important to you
  • An opportunity to honor YOU and all you have accomplished at SIUE
  • A special gathering you would ask a favorite professor or staff member to attend
  • The event where you get your Kente stole to wear at your SIUE Commencement Ceremony.

This is not an actual graduation.  It is a celebration for any graduating African or African American students and does not replace the formal SIUE Commencement ceremonies take place on December 14-15.

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