Ceremony Traditions, Honors & Recognition


Honors are conferred at graduation upon students who have maintained scholastic excellence. Those with a 3.5 cumulative GPA graduate “Cum Laude” (meaning “with distinction”); those with a 3.7 “Magna Cum Laude” (meaning “with great distinction”); and those with 3.9 “Summa Cum Laude” (meaning with highest distinction”).

In order for honors to be announced at graduation, the student must have completed all classes by the end of the summer term of the academic year. The GPA used to determine honors at graduation includes summer term of the academic year. The GPA used to determine honors at graduation includes quality points earned only from the University of Saint Francis.

Honor Cords

Honor cords are worn by graduates in recognition of special achievement. Honor cords worn by USF graduates include the following:

  • Academic Honors (gold honor cords)
  • Alpha Theta Epsilon, Kappa Delta Pi (green and purple honor cords)
  • Association of Surgical Technologists National Honor Society (navy and white honor cords)
  • Experiential Program with Integrated Cooperatives (EPIC) (blue and drab interwoven honor cords)
  • John Duns Scotus Honors Program (brown and white honor cords)
  • Lambda Nu, the National Honor Society for Radiologic and Imaging Sciences (maroon and forest green honor cords)
  • Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) Honor (drab and white honor cords)
  • National Student Nurses’ Association (blue and white honor cords)
  • Phi Alpha International Social Work Honor Society (citron honor cords)
  • Pi Alpha Honor Society (green and blue honor cords)
  • Sigma, Honor Society of Nursing (orchid and white honor cords)
  • Student Government Association (gold and white honor cords)
  • USF Council for Exceptional Children Student Chapter (royal blue and white honor cords)

Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are awarded to persons of acknowledged eminence in the arts, letters or sciences, in the professions, or in public service whose contributions are so significant that benefits are recognized and acknowledged on a state, national or international level.


Presidential Medallion

Presidential MedallionThe medallion worn by the University of Saint Francis President features the University Seal on one side and a listing of all past University Presidents on the other side.

The center of the University of Saint Francis Seal features the Shield that Franciscans have used since the 15th Century. It shows Christ’s bare arm crossing over Saint Francis’ sleeved arm, with the Cross as a background. Saint Francis’ hand bears the same nail mark as Christ’s, which represents the fact that Saint Francis bore in his body the stigmata of Christ. The olive branches surrounding the Franciscan Shield represent Peace, which Saint Francis included in his typical greeting, “Pax et Bonum” (Peace and Good).