Ceremony Traditions, Honors & Recognition


Honors are conferred at graduation upon students who have maintained scholastic excellence. Those with a 3.5 cumulative GPA graduate “with honor”; those with a 3.7 “with high honor”; and those with 3.9 “with highest honor.

To graduate with honors, a student must have earned at least 30 credit hours for an Associate degree and 60 credit hours for a Bachelor degree from the University of Saint Francis. 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 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)
  • Association of Surgical Technologists National Honor Society (navy and white honor cords)
  • John Duns Scotus Honors Program (brown and white honor cords)
  • Kappa Delta Pi (green and purple 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 Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (orchid and white honor cords)
  • Student Government Association (gold 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).