(Dec. 10, 2018) -- Each May and December, thousands of Roadrunners, along with their families and friends, gather in downtown San Antonio at the Alamodome for UTSA Commencement ceremonies. As they celebrate earning their degrees, these graduates are participating in a number of special traditions tied to the momentous occasion.
There are many traditions involving the accessories students wear as they cross the stage. The stoles and cords draped over students' shoulders have special meanings. Stoles are the colored sashes that students wear draped over their shoulders. Stoles represent involvement in different activities at UTSA. For example, student-athletes are given stoles to wear. Honors College students receive special stoles at the Stole and Laurel Ceremony, which takes place before Commencement. Students can also purchase a Stole of Gratitude, which they can present after the ceremony as a show of gratitude to someone whose support helped the student reach this milestone. Commencement cords, ropes draped over the gowns, also have special meanings. Gold honors cords are given out to Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude students. Students who have served on active duty in the military are eligible to wear red, white and blue Veterans Honors Cords.
>> Discover more information about UTSA Commencement including where to take the best photos in your cap and gown.
There are also traditions related to the caps students wear to Commencement. For undergraduates, the tassel is worn on the right side of the cap until the end of the ceremony, when students are instructed to move the tassels to the left side. Master’s and Doctoral graduates keep their tassels to the left for the whole ceremony. Guests attending the ceremony will notice that many of the mortarboards students wear are brightly decorated. UTSA students have embraced the tradition of decorating their mortarboards with art and special messages to help them stand out in the crowd. Another group of students with attention-grabbing headwear at the commencement ceremony are those getting degrees in Construction Science and Management; they wear special orange hard hats.
While most students cross the stage wearing the recommended dark shoes, a select few will be wearing the orange feet of Rowdy the Roadrunner. Students who served as mascots during their time at UTSA get to wear the feet at Commencement.
Another unique tradition involves the UTSA class rings that many graduates wear. All UTSA rings spend a night at the Alamo to connect them to the history of San Antonio.
Since UTSA’s first commencement ceremony in May of 1976, mariachis have performed to help give the ceremony a celebratory feel. The ceremonies have been held at the Alamodome since 2013, and since then pyrotechnics and streamers have also been part of the show. These traditions help to celebrate all the accomplishments of the graduating Roadrunners.
Discover more information about UTSA Commencement.
De-stress during Finals Week with UTSA Libraries' Relaxation Stations, located at John Peace Library on the second floor, and at the Downtown Library. The Relaxation Stations will include puzzles, coloring and more from Dec. 6-Dec. 14.John Peace Library, second floor and Downtown Library, Main and Downtown Campuses
This UTSA student exhibit features the work of anthropology students who have examined the effects tourism has on local culture.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Students from grades 9 to 12 at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering delved into their family histories and turned their family photos into artworks.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
The first ceremony begins at 10 a.m. honors graduates from the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, College of Business, College of Education and Human Development and College of Public Policy.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
At 4 p.m., the second ceremony will be held to honor graduates from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Science and the University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.Locations throughout the United States
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA Day is an Open House and one of the best ways to see what it is like to be part of the UTSA Family! Schedule a visit the way you want, based on your interests and time. Learn more about the next steps on becoming a Roadrunner!Various locations, Main Campus
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