A student stands with Karina Fuentes. Karina is wearing a pink pant suit. The student is wearing a cap and gown.

Hector Morales ’24 is pictured with Karina Fuentes, associate director of intercultural development.

The Office of Intercultural Development hosted the third annual Kente and Multicultural Stole Ceremony on Saturday, May 4 to honor the achievements of seniors from diverse cultures and traditionally underrepresented groups. Students representing 12 organizations were recognized at the event:

  • Hispanic Society of Lafayette
  • Bohio Association 
  • Association of Black Collegians
  • Hispanic Finance Association 
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 
  • Asian Cultural Association 
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Lafayette African and Caribbean Students Association
  • South Asian Students Association
  • International Students Association 
  • NIA: Women of Purpose
Stoles are laying on a table.

Students received stoles from their adviser or mentor during the ceremony.

During the ceremony, graduates received stoles from their adviser or mentor. Students from the Association of Black Collegians (ABC) and other groups who identify as Black received kente cloth, which originated as a royal garment for African Asante people. Others received the multicultural stole, which recognizes the diversity of their backgrounds. 

“The Kente and Multicultural Stole Ceremony is not only a time for students to receive their stole and/or cord according to their cultural identity, but a time to reflect on what they have accomplished on campus by being their authentic selves,” said Karina Fuentes, associate director of intercultural development. 

The Multicultural Stole Ceremony was created by alumna María Padilla ’22 in 2022. As a senior, Padilla began brainstorming ways in which seniors in multicultural organizations could be recognized at Commencement. She pitched the idea of a Multicultural Stole Ceremony to honor students’ individual cultures and heritage to Fuentes, which sparked a beautiful event that has now become a tradition. Padilla returned to campus for the ceremony and spoke about its history and significance.

Three students stand and smile at the camera. Two of the students are wearing graduation gowns and stoles. The student on the right is wearing a graduation cap.

The third annual Kente and Multicultural Stole Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 4.

“Looking back, I am proud of myself and my peers for beginning this initiative,” said Padilla at the ceremony. “This ceremony allows each and every one of you to represent your culture, country, upbringing, whatever it may be that makes you proud to represent….I hope you know how much it means to your loved ones and your roots to be able to stand here today and represent so many of us. Congratulations to all of you! Make sure to take some time and give yourself not a little, but more than enough credit for making it this far!”

Categorized in: Class of 2024, Commencement 2024, Diversity, Featured News, Intercultural Development, Intercultural Experience, McDonogh Voice, News and Features, Students

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