Cherokee Graduates Can Share Tribal Pride Through New Stole Program

Guest Commentary

Published April 1, 2019

A new program will allow Cherokee Nation citizens graduating from college the opportunity to show their tribal pride. The Cherokee Nation Stole Program, administered by Cherokee Nation’s College Resource Center, offers graduates a special honor stole to wear at their commencement. The program expands on a previous honor stole program for Cherokee students who took part in our scholarship programs. Starting with the Spring 2019 commencements, the program will offer the special stole to all eligible Cherokee graduates.

We have long believed that education is the springboard to a brighter future for our people. Since the advent of mission schools and our Cherokee National Male and Female Seminaries, education has played an immense role in our advancement as a nation.

The stole is a simple but meaningful way we can reward students who have completed their educational goals. The attractive red and white stole reads “Cherokee Graduate” in our written syllabary language and is designed to accompany the student’s traditional graduation cap and gown.

The Stole Program is free and available for students nationwide who are Cherokee Nation citizens. To qualify, applicants must have a GPA of 2.00 or higher and be completing an associate (art, science or applied science–nursing), bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. Applicants are not required to be in the Cherokee Nation Scholarship Programs.

Chief Bill John Baker

We encourage our Cherokee Nation graduates to share the joy of their special day by posting photos of themselves in their stoles at graduation and tagging our various tribal social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Attaining a higher education degree is a truly momentous occasion and something to be proud of for a lifetime. In turn, it also encourages younger students to achieve their goals by showing them what is possible.

The deadline is April 30 to apply and receive a stole for spring graduations and November 30 for fall commencements. Please find more details and a Cherokee stole application at cherokee.org/Services/Education/College-Resources or call Cherokee Nation College Resource Center at 918-453-5465.

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