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Donning of the Kente ceremony celebrates student achievements at graduation


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 3, 2010 – On Thursday, May 13 at 6 p.m., the Black Organizations Council will hold its annual Donning of the Kente ceremony in the Old Dominion Ballroom at Squires Student Center.

The ceremony, which celebrates the current accomplishments of graduating students of color and the history of black student achievements at Virginia Tech, is open to the public.

This year’s Donning of the Kente will feature an address by keynote speaker Jovette Gadson, an alumnae of Virginia Tech, member of the Black Cultural Center Alumni Advisory Board, and former president of the Black Organizations Council. This will be accompanied by the traditional adorning of the Kente stole, and a reception.

During the ceremony, participating graduates will be draped in the stripes of Kente, a colorful cloth stole native to Ghana. Though Kente was developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti people, it has its roots in a long tradition of African weaving, dating back to about 3000 B.C. The ceremony, often reserved for special occasions or royalty, is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values, and political thoughts.

For more information on the Donning of the Kente ceremony, contact Helene Jones, the events chair for the Black Organizations Council.

More information about upcoming multicultural programs is available at the Multicultural Programs and Services website.

Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, or the Shultz Hall Lot, located off Alumni Drive near the North Main Street campus entrance. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

Virginia Tech’s Multicultural Programs and Services is a department within the Division of Student Affairs. The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Chris Gustin.