Rites of Passage

The Serving Engaged Empowered & Diverse Students (S.E.E.D.S.) Office collaborates with individuals from numerous departments, in addition to cultural and ethnic student groups to coordinate identity based graduation celebration ceremonies that complement the University’s commencement celebrations. These cultural celebrations acknowledge the value and uniqueness of our underrepresented student experiences and serves to commemorate and highlight the accomplishments of individuals within their familial and cultural context.

Rites of Passage FAQ

When and where are the Rites of Passage ceremonies?
Location, date, and time for all graduations can be found below!

Who can participate in the Rites of Passage ceremonies?
Any student (undergraduate or graduate) who will be graduating in the current term can participate.

Do I need to fill out an application/register to participate?
Yes! The registration form serves to inform the graduation committees on who to include in their programs, how many students to expect, etc. While we would like to provide a stole and celebrate every graduating senior, stoles are limited so please apply early!

Where can I find a registration form?
The registration link can be found below.

Do I still need to apply for graduation with the Registrar’s Office?
Yes. This is NOT an application for graduation. It is an application for culturally-based graduation celebration ceremonies that complement the University’s commencement celebrations.

How many guests may I invite?
As many as you like!

What does it cost?
Nothing! It is FREE for you and your family and friends.

Who can I speak to if I have questions?
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 903.468.6082 or email seeds@tamuc.edu.

Lavender Ceremony

Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBTQ students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university as students who survived the college experience. Through such recognition, LGBTQ students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni.

Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBTQ students can look forward to, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.

The Fall 2017 Lavender Ceremony will be on Monday, December 11th at 6pm in Conference Room A of the Rayburn Student Center. if you would like to register to participate in this ceremony, please complete the form at http://bit.ly/LavFA17

La Raza Ceremony

A “Raza Ceremony” is a graduation celebration that features traditions of Latino culture. The ceremony includes various Latino cultural elements and graduates are given the opportunity to publicly thank individuals who have helped them throughout their educational career. A Raza Graduation is a chance for friends and family to join students in celebrating their success at navigating the challenges of college in the spirit of Latino culture. 
The Raza Graduation Celebration was originally created by Latino students, staff, and faculty at University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1973. It was a proactive strategy to restore pride, heritage, and sense of purpose to Latino students. Today, the “Raza Graduation” has spread to many campuses. 

The Fall 2017 La Raza Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 13th at 6pm in Conference Room C of the Rayburn Student Center. A light reception will follow.

Ujimaa Ceremony

The Ujimaa Ceremony is a celebration that culminates the experiences of the black students at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Similar to La Raza, the students will have the opportunity to publicly thank those who have helped them throughout their journey. Each participant will receive a Kente stole to wear at commencement. The Kente traces it roots back to Ghana and the West African culture where it is typically used for celebratory occasions such as graduations.

Various versions of the Ujimaa Ceremony are hosted on several campuses such as Stanford University, University of North Texas, Western Kentucky University, and the University of Washington (where it all began). 

The Fall 2017 Ujimaa Ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 14th at 6pm in Conference Room C of the Rayburn Student Center. A light reception will follow.