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APSU Spring Commencement to feature new tradition

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University will unveil a new commencement tradition beginning with the two spring ceremonies Friday, May 7.

A selected student from each college will lead the class into the Dunn Center carrying a gonfalon, a banner specially designed for the college.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University will unveil a new commencement tradition beginning with the two spring ceremonies Friday, May 7.

A selected student from each college will lead the class into the Dunn Center carrying a gonfalon, a banner specially designed for the college.

“We are excited about the new dimension this will add to commencement and pleased that the colleges will have an opportunity to honor one of their outstanding students as the college marshal,” said Carol Clark, executive aide to the president and one of the organizers of the commencement ceremony.

Gonfalons are the flags or banners, hung from crosspieces on poles, used since medieval times in the republics of Italy as symbols of state or office. Universities and colleges around the world have adopted gonfalons to heighten the ceremonial nature of commencement exercises.

The gonfalons are used during graduation ceremonies to symbolize the different academic areas within the University.

The gonfalons were designed by the APSU Public Relations and Marketing staff with input from the college faculty. The colors on the background behind each medallion correspond with the disciplines, or hood colors, associated with each college or school. The symbols within the shields represent the programs within each college.

Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at APSU, will recognize the student marshals during the presentation of diplomas. -- Melony Shemberger