Kente Overview

Kente Class 2019

Kente Celebration 2024

The Kente Celebration will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2024 in the Corey Union Function Room.  

Check in starts at 4 p.m. and the celebration will begin at 5 p.m. 

What is Kente?

The Kente Celebration symbolizes and commemorates the rite of passage for learners and scholars who are transitioning from institutions of higher learning to the next chapter of their lives. The Kente Celebration has deep institutional history and is an important experience for our multicultural students.

The kente cloth is a traditional African cloth – the colors and design hold a specific meaning. It is the most popular and best known of all African textiles. Originally, royalty exclusively wore kente but since Ghana’s independence from Britain in 1957 kente has become a symbol of national pride. Ordinary citizens wear it for special celebrations. The kente cloth has also become an important symbol for African Americans, people of color in general, and their allies to highlight their achievements and connection to the first learning centers of the world in Africa. 

Application for Graduates

Graduating seniors and graduate students are encouraged to apply for the Kente Celebration.

Applicants will be accepted based on the quality of the application

Deadline: Friday, Feb. 16, 2024

Kente Awards

Calvin Louis-Juste Memorial Award 

Use this form to nominate a graduating senior

Calvin Louis-Juste Memorial Award Criteria:

  • Must be a graduating senior 
  • Be an example of high academic achievement 
  • Committed to doing community service 
  • Be a leader on campus and be in extracurricular activities 
  • Be passionate about continuing to improve oneself
  • Advocate for equity and inclusion on campus

SUNY Cortland NAACP Award 

Use this form to nominate a graduating senior that demonstrated achievement in social justice and education.

The SUNY Cortland NAACP Award Criteria:

  • Must be a graduating senior 
  • Be an example of high academic achievement 
  • Active in promoting diversity, inclusion and social justice matters in support of the Black community and racial equity, either individually or as part of their work within a student organization

Kente Honorary Stole Faculty/Staff Nomination Form 

Please use this form to nominate faculty, staff or administrators, who have worked at SUNY Cortland for at least three years and have demonstrated support for students of color and have been involved in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

You can nominate yourself or others who you think fulfill the criteria of these awards and honorary stole.

The nomination deadline for all three awards is Friday, March 1, 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at

Multicultural Life and Diversity Office
Corey Union, Room 407-A
Phone: 607-753-2336
Fax: 607-753-2808

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