At Newman Commencement May 6, many graduates wore their non-academic stoles to honor their involvement on campus and their achievements as students. The stoles, designed by 2022 graduate Kayla (Garvert) Creed, signify a student’s co-curricular involvement during his or her time at Newman University, and the transformational impact their leadership has had on the campus community.
In 2019, the Newman Student Government Association worked alongside leadership to develop an opportunity for students to be recognized for their non-academic involvement on campus.
The first stole is the diversity and inclusion stole, which signifies a student’s cultural or religious background, as well as resilience in facing a unique struggle because of his or her respective identification.
The next stole is the athletic stole, which recognizes that a student has earned his or her degree while participating in a sport for the entirety of his or her time at Newman University.
The last non-academic stole is for student involvement, which signifies a student who has positively impacted Newman through his or her involvement on campus and in the community.
Non-academic stoles represent transformational experiences at Newman
Ian Lecki, a 2022 graduate, got his bachelor’s degree in business marketing and was given the athletic stole and the student involvement stole to show his impact at Newman. Lecki said that the stoles mean a lot to him and that he has enjoyed being on the Newman baseball team as well as being involved on campus.
“(One of my stoles is for) student involvement. I will be student president next year and I have been a Residence Life assistant,” Lecki said. “I’ve dipped my hand in everything on campus and I’ve never been more happy. Everything has just been wonderful to be involved and be thought of so highly on campus.”
Iveth De Loera-Gallegos
Another 2022 graduate, Iveth De Loera-Gallegos, earned her degree in radiologic technology and received a stole for diversity and inclusion as well as student involvement. De Loera-Gallegos said that having the stoles means a lot to her as it shows what she’s done and accomplished.
“It makes me proud, like ‘I did this, I earned it.’ And it makes my parents proud so that’s really what the stoles mean to me,” De Loera-Gallegos said. “My first stole is for diversity and inclusion. I am the first-generation Hispanic American in my family to graduate from college. So that was a big deal and it makes me really proud as well as my parents.”
Her second stole is for student involvement, which she said represents her active participation in Campus Ministry.
“Getting to see the community that I’ve built with (Campus Ministry), getting to know other people, getting to talk to students and kind of reaching out to everyone has been great,” she said. “You feel like you belong.”
Trang Lam earned her bachelor’s degree in science with a pre-med concentration. She is a 2022 graduate who also had the diversity and inclusion and student involvement stoles. Lam is the first member of her family to graduate from college and said that the stoles not only represent that accomplishment but also hold a special place in her heart.
“I have diversity and inclusion, so that’s for being a first-generation and for being Asian Pacific Islander. Then for student involvement, I was involved on campus as the public relations chair and vice president of ASA, which is Asian Student Association. And I was also involved as an ambassador in the Admissions Office,” Lam said.
2022 graduate Tejay Cleland got to wear both the athletic stole and student involvement stole. He majored in communication and minored in journalism. Cleland said that the stoles represent his time at Newman as he was a part of the baseball team and editor-in-chief of the student newspaper The Vantage.
“I feel that I put a lot of time into my student organization, The Vantage, as well as baseball in my time as a player. These stoles really help portray my time at Newman on graduation day,” Cleland said.
The non-academic stoles are one way to showcase what the students were involved in and accomplished outside of academics, and will no doubt serve as a Newman souvenir to be cherished for years to come.
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