Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • September 19, 2021

The What, Why and How of Honor Cords at Commencement [Infographic]

Graduating from college is an incredible achievement. In recognition of this accomplishment, the commencement ceremony is a graduate’s day of celebration, the culmination of hard work and determination with every stride across the stage.

Long a tradition at commencement, honor cords are worn for the ceremony, with each color recognizing the wearer as a recipient of significant achievement or award. But what are these colors? What do they signify? And why do they mean anything at Thomas Edison State University? These questions, and more, are explained in the honor cord infographic below.


Eligibility for all awards and honor societies is determined at graduation automatically, and students do not have to apply to be considered. Graduates can wear the academic awards and honor cords/pins at Commencement. 

For more detail on honor cord eligibility, visit Awards and Honor Societies at TESU, here. To donate to the TESU Foundation with a monetary gift symbolic of your graduation year and receive the Philanthropy Cord, visit here.

This article was originally published on September 16, 2014, and has been updated for accuracy. 

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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