SRU Office for Inclusive Excellence to host Multicultural Graduation Celebration


Colored outlines of people

May 2, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Office for Inclusive Excellence will host its annual Spring Multicultural Graduation Celebration, 5 p.m., May 9, in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The event celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of graduating seniors while also celebrating the variety of cultures at the University. Students will be presented with stoles that they can wear at the University's May 10-11 commencement ceremonies.

"Our campus features a wide variety of students and cultures and as such, events of this nature allow us to uplift and celebrate the people and their heritage as they get ready to embark on their careers," said Amber Hamilton, assistant director for student transition programs in the OIE. "It is a time to foster love, support and inclusion for our community."

Students receive stoles that represent their unique culture and heritage, including specific stoles for the black, Latino and LGBTQIA communities. The OIE also offers distinctive stoles for those students interested in representing a specific country or community or if they want to celebrate their membership in National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities.

"For example, the black community has a kente cloth stole which, from my knowledge, is a traditional style from Ghana," Hamilton said. "Those stoles tend to have more of an African-based design so students can appreciate their historic heritage as well as their black heritage."

Hamilton said approximately 50 students are expected to participate in the ceremony, with upwards of 200 friends and family on hand in support of the students.

Wayne Forbes, SRU associate professor of biology, will deliver the keynote address.

Students from the Department of Dance will perform at the event which will also feature a representative from each of SRU's multicultural student organizations reciting a poem in honor of the graduating seniors. The OIE will present leadership awards to students for outstanding academic achievements; those who have been heavily involved with the OIE; those who have supported and celebrated diversity on campus; and those who have contributed substantially to the University's Jump Start program.

SRU's Jump Start program has proven to be an effective tool in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. The program is designed to assist students with the transition to college life, both academically and socially. Jump Start students are provided one-to-one development, academic advising and study skills strengthening and support. Students are also assigned an upperclassman mentor during their time in the program.

MEDIA CONTACT: Megan Bush | 724.738.2091 |