Kente Stole and Siena Heights Logo

The Kente program was initiated at Siena Heights in 1992 by members of the main campus student group SHAAKA, the Siena Heights African American Knowledge Association. Those African American students, now alumni, established the ceremony to honor their heritage, recognize the challenges of pursuing and completing a college education, and motivate undergraduates of color to persist in their studies through to graduation.

The Kente ceremony will take place Saturday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Dominic Chapel on the SHU main campus in Adrian, MI.

The goals of the Kente program are the same today, but the program now embraces and recognizes graduates of African descent from all SHU sites and programs. On the main campus, SHAAKA has evolved into the student group Black Student Union.

Kente stoles are woven in Ghana, where Kente cloth was originally the cloth of kings and queens. The stoles represent the pride of perseverance, the honor of the accomplishment, and the importance of remembering your roots. Today’s bachelor’s degree (blue) stoles are embroidered with the ram’s horn, symbolizing humility and strength, wisdom, and learning. The master’s degree (black) stoles carry the symbol of lifelong learning and the continued quest for knowledge.

Hispanic and Latino/a/x graduates are also recognized during the Kente ceremony. Students are given a Serape stole to wear. These stoles are worn to show pride in their culture and to represent the challenges and accomplishments of earning a college degree. 

To register for this year’s ceremony, please complete the form to the right. if you have any questions, please contact Chris Carter or call 517-264-7606.

Kente Ceremony Registration Form
Degree Program*

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