University Symbols and Regalia

The University Seal - The symbolism of the seal captures the University commitment to her mission and motto. The Greek words appearing above the cross have been suggested to mean Be seeking the Kingdom of God, reflective of the University motto from Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God." The small triangle appearing near the lower left contains, clockwise, the Greek words "mind, spirit, body," and represents the University commitment to the development of the whole person. Other symbols will be recognized as the shield of faith, the torch of the light of learning, and the olive branches of peace. This seal serves as another reminder of the continuing challenge to integrate faith and learning in all that is done at Northwest Nazarene University.

The Presidential Medallion is worn by the University president as a symbol of that office. It is a representation of the University Seal struck on brushed antique brass and hung from a brass chain. Other University officials or honorees wear smaller medallions hung from ribbons in the University colors of red and black.

The University Mace is carried at formal academic events each year by the senior teaching faculty member of the University as a symbol of academic order and authority. Professor Janet Harman is the current bearer of the University Mace.

Institutional Banners represent the University and each of the seven academic units: the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Business; School of Education, Social Work and Counseling; School of Health and Science; School of Theology and Christian Ministries; Extended University Services; and Learning Resources.

The Academic Regalia worn by faculty and students and officers of the University at academic functions dates back to the Middle Ages. The academic gown in America has traditionally been black, although many universities have now authorized doctoral gowns in the universities' own colors. The cut of the gown identifies the degree. The bachelor's gown has pointed sleeves and is worn closed. The master's gown has oblong-cut sleeves and is worn open or closed. The doctoral gown, which is also worn open or closed, has bell-shaped sleeves, usually crossed with bands of velvet.

The Hood is the most distinctive feature of academic attire in the United States. It was once a cowl that could be thrown over the head for warmth, but is now worn only for decorative purposes, thrown over the back and suspended from the shoulders. The length of the hood indicates the level of the degree. The color of the velvet border identifies the field of learning in which the degree was earned. These colors include: White for arts, letters and humanities; Dusk for business; Light Blue for education; Brown for fine arts; Purple for law; Lemon for library science; Apricot for nursing; Pink for music; Dark Blue for philosophy; Gold for science; Citron for social work; Scarlet for theology. The inner lining of the hood proclaims the color or colors of the institution awarding the degree.

Honor Cords and Stoles

Honor cords are worn by undergraduate students graduating with summa cum laude (gold), magna cum laude (silver), or cum laude (white) honors.   Please see this link for more information about how honors are earned: Undergraduate Honors

Purple and gold honor cords are worn by members of Delta Mu Delta, the National Honor Society in Business Administration. Inductees are students in good standing selected from the top 20 percent of the junior and senior class, approved by the Business faculty. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.2 for undergraduate students and 3.25 for graduate students.

Blue and white honor cords are worn by members of Chi Sigma Iota, the counseling honor society which recognizes students for academic excellence.

Purple and red honor cords are worn by members of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-health honor society. NNU members maintain a high pre-health GPA and participate in service to the community and promote the highest quality of pre-health education.

Forest green and ivory honor cords are worn by members of Sigma Pi Sigma, the official honor society of the physics profession. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma requires distinctive achievement and high scholarship in physics with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in physics and 3.5 overall.

Gold honor cords are worn by members of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. Members must be in good standing at the university and in the department, must be in the top 35% of their class, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Red stoles are worn by ordained ministers.