When graduating seniors walk across the Collins Center stage, wide arrays of regalia line their necks - from honor cords to medallions and stoles - graduates display their academic achievements and experiences. This year will feature a new sash only available to students who studied abroad at Harlaxton College.
“I was so excited to learn of the Harlaxton sash because Harlaxton was a huge part of my Baker experience,” senior Liz Minson said. “I’m proud that Harlaxton is forever a part of me and that I’m able to show that at graduation.”
The sashes became available this semester through Baker’s sister school, the University of Evansville, which owns the popular study abroad destination in Grantham, England.
“We’ve not promoted [the sashes] yet because they’re so brand new,” Director of Study Abroad Robyn Long said. “I’m glad to hear that Harlaxon is emailing alumni. I’m hopeful that students who are Harlaxton alumni will make the choice to [purchase one].”
The burgundy colored sashes feature an embroidered official Harlaxton College logo on one end.
Senior Brittney Harmon is another student who will be displaying the sash as she walks across the stage to receive her diploma in May.
“The sash for Harlaxton College is a reminder of my time abroad in England, something I remember quite fondly,” she said. “Although I did not go to Harlaxton with people that I will be graduating with, it is a way to tie us together and to reflect on the memories and experiences that we had abroad.”
The new Harlaxton sash is only one of many that line students’ necks on graduation day, however. Both Minson and Harmon noted the many other honor cords and regalia that they’ll proudly display.
“I will have one for Cardinal Key, one for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and one for Alpha Chi Omega,” Minson said. “These symbolize the participation and achievement that I was able to attain during my Baker adventure. They remind me of the opportunities that Baker provided me and the activities that helped mold me into a better version of myself.”
Of course, with much involvement comes much recognition through graduation regalia; however, Long advises students to wear their regalia with pride and in the most representative way possible.
“At their best, I think they are a recognition that a person has gone through the process of discernment about how they’re going to spend their time and energy at Baker,” Long said. “The things that they are representing indicate things that were really meaningful to them and are partially an extension of graduation itself, which is a celebration for [students’] achievements but also a way to recognize people who have contributed to [them] getting there.”
Harmon continues to collect her remaining cords and honors before finalizing her graduation ensemble and walking across the stage in May.
“All of these cords and the sash represent a part of my time at Baker,” Harmon said.
“The honor societies honor my time and commitment to my religious studies and communication studies degrees, both of which have been very important in the formation of who I have become through Baker. Delta Delta Delta has given me many opportunities and relationships, and the Total Equality Alliance cord is a symbol of the hard work I have put into something that I believe in.”