Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI)

North Foundation Hall, Room 104
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
(248) 370-4404

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m
Wednesdays with extended hours: 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Image of three students looking off into the distance.

Black Excellence Celebratory

The Black Excellence Celebratory is a pre-commencement celebration to honor African and African American students who through unbending determination have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from Oakland University. The Celebratory is representative of African and African American culture and heritage, encompasses or embodies the value of community and scholarship and concludes with a Kente Stole presentation. This is a Celebration for Graduates to be recognized for their accomplishments and will provide a charge to them for the future. Students are honored together form similar commendations and their families also get the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and commitment.

Participation in the 2021 OU Black Excellence Celebratory is open to all OU undergraduate and graduate students who earned their degree fall 2020, and who will earn their degree winter 2021 and summer 2021.

Students must apply to graduate to participate in the Black Excellence Celebratory. For more information on applying to graduate, please visit

2021 Event Details

Event Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Event Start Time: 6:30PM
Event Location: P1 Parking Lot
All participating graduates are asked to arrive at 5:30PM 
Only 2 parking passes per student will be allowed

**Please note: All Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 graduates who applied to graduate by January 31, 2021 and also self-identified as Black in their student account have been invited to this event.

Those who did not apply to graduate by January 31, 2021 will be invited next spring.

The Kente

Kente is native to Ghana and was developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti people. It has its roots in a long tradition of African weaving, dating back to about 3000 B.C. Often reserved for royalty, the stole is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values and political thoughts.

During the Ceremony each graduate will be gifted with a Kente stole. Participation in the Black Excellence Celebratory event is required to receive a complimentary Kente stole. If you are unable to attend the event, stoles are available for purchase through many outside vendors. Some vendors include: