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Bloomington Commencement Feature

How to Wear Honor Cords / Fourragères

Fourragères are draped over the left shoulder.

Red and white honor cords over shoulder

Departmental honor cords are worn down the front of the gown.

Departmental honor cords

Greek honor cords representing 66 different societies can be seen at Commencement.

Blue and gold Greek honor cord

No Tickets, No Reserved Seats, Free Parking

Commencement is free and open to the public. There are no tickets and no reserved seats. Parking is free.

Caps and Gowns

Honor Cords

Indiana University holds all of its graduates in high esteem and takes an added measure of pride in those who have excelled academically. High-achieving undergraduates are entitled to one or more of the following honor cords.

Graduating With Distinction

Candidates who graduate with Distinction (crimson), High Distinction (cream), and Highest Distinction (cream and crimson) are entitled to wear on their left shoulders cords called fourragères. The recorders in each school distribute fourragères to qualified students before Commencement.

IU Bloomington School and Departmental Honor Cords

Some schools and departments offer honors programs for students who excel academically and seek an enriched and challenging learning environment. Graduates who fulfill the requirements of these programs receive a notation on their diplomas and are eligible to wear gold honor cords, which are provided by the participating schools and departments. The requirements for graduating with honors are different for each school.

Eligibility and Notification

In the fall, honors eligibility is usually determined in November and students are notified thereafter. In the spring, eligibility is usually determined in March and students notified thereafter. Students who anticipate receiving an honors designation will be able to include this information on their printed announcements in time for graduation. When ordering, please allow 10 to 14 days for printing and delivery.

Veterans and Current Members of the United States Armed Services

Service members on active duty or in the National Guard or Reserves, as well as veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard, are entitled to wear a twisted cord of red, white, and blue. ROTC graduates who will commission on or immediately after graduation are also eligible. Armed service cords may be worn only by the individual who has served, is serving, or will serve; relatives, friends, and beneficiaries are not eligible. Graduates should check with the campus veterans services office to obtain a cord. Proof of service, such as DD214, military ID card, etc., is required at the time of receipt of the cord.

Honors Insignia from Greek Honor Societies

A wide array of honors organizations recognize outstanding achievement in service, philanthropy, and scholarship. Indiana University is proud of all of its students who fulfill the requirements for membership in these important societies, but on Commencement Day the university singles out those honor societies that emphasize academic achievement.

Graduates who have been admitted to any of the 66 nationally recognized honor societies listed below may wear the appropriate cords, which are available for purchase directly from the various society headquarters. Follow the links provided to reach each society's website.


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