Adornment Policy

The Provost Office, in conjunction with Communication and Marketing, representatives from all 10 schools and colleges, and various campus departments, developed the following adornment policy for Vanderbilt's annual Commencement ceremonies.

  • Adornments may be worn but are limited to cords from organizations officially recognized by Vanderbilt. Read the Student Affairs student organization guidelines.
  • In keeping with the solemnity of the ceremonies, special regalia is worn to symbolize reaching a significant milestone in one’s educational journey – earning your degree, and as such adornments to regalia must be associated with officially recognized merit or honor societies or identity groups. Any adornment that is not in the form of an already authorized cord or stole, must be approved by the Office of the Provost, Student Affairs and any relevant schools, colleges or other organizations. Requests can be submitted using the Adornment Exception Request form.
  • Personal decorations, whether to the cap or gown, are not allowed as they may detract from the spirit and dignity of the occasion or alter or obscure recognition of the degree that the designated regalia represents.

This policy was put into effect in November 2016.

Questions? Contact Us.

Policy Updated 4/24/2019