(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.
Roadrunner Days events welcome UTSA's newest students and helps our returning Roadrunners learn strategies for success in the new year.Various locations, Main and Downtown campuses
This exhibition, curated by Libby Rowe and Scott Sherer, presents the work of women artists who are compelled by their commitments to investigating and transforming social and cultural legacies and contexts.UTSA Art Gallery (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
UTSA will further honor King with the university's annual MLK Day of Service. Roadrunners are encouraged to participate in the service day, located in various locations, including helping to beautify campus.Various locations, Main Campus
Celebrating the Year of the Rat, the 33rd annual Asian Festival will feature a wide spectrum of Asian cultures with family-friendly events and performances. Enjoy authentic Asian foods with a menu including Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Pakistani, Chinese and Filipino cuisines. Vendors will sell clothing, artwork, dolls, silk items, jewelry and other exotic gifts.Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., San Antonio
Peniel E. Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at UT Austin, will discuss his book “The Sword and The Shield,” which focuses on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The Heart Walk will be held at all three campus locations starting at the same time. Support Go Red for Women Day by wearing red.All UTSA campuses
Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in an interactive discussion on how U.S. foreign policy affects the trajectory of global affairs, your community’s well-being, and your daily life. Admission is free. Register to attend.Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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