JMU Class of 2020 Donning of the Kente Virtual Recognition: April 28, 2020. Instagram at JMUCMSS and online at Donning of the Kente celebration recognizes the accomplishments of graduating students who have engaged in The Center for Multicultural Student Services (CMSS) programs and services while at James Madison University. Due to COVID-19 we can unfortunately not celebrate in this occasion as we would have wanted; which ordinarily is a ceremonial rites of passage of donning (putting on) the Kente Stole.

Each graduate who is honored will receive a traditional Kente stole to recognize them for their accomplishments and as an involved member of our CMSS family. Kente cloth is the best-known African textile and one of the most admired fabrics in the world. Kente is the name given to a distinctively patterned, handwoven strip of cloth made by the Akan people of West Africa. The country of Ghana is the primary producer of Kente cloth today, and from various regions of the country come different styles of cloth.

Each strip of Kente is woven entirely by hand on individual strip looms in a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Everything you see on a Kente; the stripes, letters, symbols, and patterns - is woven into the strip by hand as it is made. The diamond represents wealth and riches, the key represents education being the key to knowledge and success, and the stool stands for leadership and unity. Each graduate will receive a stole to commemorate the occasion of their graduation.

Though this presentation is primarily designed to honor our graduates, we would also like to acknowledge the individuals who they selected to serve as their donners. It has been your support, encouraging words, listening ear, and sometimes tough love that our graduates have credited to their success. Though donners could not physically don their student with their Kente stole they have shared a little something special with you instead. For that, we would like to thank you!!

Class of 2020, we are so proud of you and you will be missed! Congratulations!

-The CMSS Team

Back to Top