St. Ambrose University to honor ethnic diversity during inaugural Cultural Stole Donning Ceremony

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St. Ambrose University will honor the ethnic diversity of its December 2020 graduates and celebrate academic achievements during its upcoming inaugural Cultural Stole Donning Ceremony.

Hosted by the university’s Office of Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the on-campus ceremony will be held 3 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22.

With COVID-19 safety measures in mind, St. Ambrose says the donning ceremony will be streamed live here (case-sensitive password: SDEI) so family and friends can watch the celebration.

Student, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coordinator Fritz Dieudonné says the ceremony will “recognize accomplishments of ethnically diverse graduates, encourage their continual pursuit of excellence and inspire them through any future challenges.”

One way in which each ethnic group will be represented during the ceremony is through stoles.

Ryan Saddler, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said the university began researching cultural stoles three years ago. He added that “a lot of time” was put into choosing the colors and symbols.

St. Ambrose says a distinct color of stole has been assigned for each of the four cultural and ethnic identities being represented in the ceremony, which include: Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx and Indigenous/Native American.

They add that stoles for all four ethnic groups have been adorned with the same three symbols — the first representing lifelong learning and knowledge, the second representing humility and strength and the third representing faith and trust in God.

“The symbols and what they characterize speak to what we strive to be as a university, and what we strive to nurture in our students from the minute they walk in the door, and even after they graduate,” said Dieudonné, who encourages students to wear their stoles during the university’s upcoming Winter Commencement Ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 18 and 19.

“This is only possible due to the tremendous support we got from university administrators. Sister Joan Lescinski, the President of St. Ambrose University, and Paul Koch, Vice President for Academic Affairs, were great supporters in making this happen,” said Saddler.

More information about the Cultural Stole Donning Ceremony is here.

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