Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Undergraduate Student Life

OMA Graduation Programs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs works in conjunction with a range of student organizations and administrative colleagues to organize multicultural graduation ceremonies that celebrate the accomplishments of students that have engaged in many areas of diversity at Columbia University. 

OMA Graduation Cords

Presented by Multicultural Affairs, the OMA Graduation Cords are given to graduating seniors in Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of General Studies who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism through the OMA, campus leadership, activism, community involvement, academic endeavors, and/or personal dedication.

Worn in the various graduation ceremonies, the graduation cords are also a powerful visual symbol of our new graduates’ ongoing commitment as alumni in continuing and sharing the office's mission of supporting personal development, advancing the strength within communities, acknowledging diversity in the different aspects of their lives, working toward social justice, honoring our different and intersecting legacies of struggle and survival, and building meaningful coalitions across different identities.

Nominees Must Meet the Following Criteria

  • Current senior in CC, SEAS, or GS who will be eligible to participate in Commencement Spring 2016
  • A student in good standing at Columbia University
  • Positive impact on fellow students
  • Willingness, openness, and commitment to be an ally to other communities
  • Great ability to advocate, organize, and follow-through on related projects and initiatives
  • Significant dedication of time to related projects and issues throughout his/her time at Columbia
  • Demonstrated outstanding leadership and constructive contributions to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism on or off campus while a student at Columbia

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2016 CORDS ARE NOW OPEN. The deadline to submit is Friday, April 1, 2016 at 5pm.

See past recipients.


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Lavender (LGBTQ) Graduation

Lavender Graduation is a cultural ceremony that celebrates our graduating LGBTQ and allied students. First started at the University of Michigan in 1995, the ceremony is now conducted at hundreds of universities nationwide including Princeton, Duke, MIT and NYU. The color lavender, adopted by the gay movement in the 1960's, is the main color of Sayville (Gayville), NY. Sayville is near Fire Island where the veterans of Stonewall hung out. This history of New York is honored during the ceremony as our graduates prepare to make history of their own.

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Raza (Latinx) Graduation

Raza Graduation (formerly known as Latino Graduation) has a long-standing history within the university of celebrating the accomplishments of our undergraduate Latinx graduates, as well as recognizing the role that Latinx students have played in shaping Columbia’s landscape.  This ceremony provides an intimate setting for students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends to honor  the graduates, in addition to welcoming them into their important roles as Barnard and Columbia alumni.  Raza Graduation is co-sponsored by the CC/SEAS Multicultural Affairs, the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University, the Raza Graduation Committee, and Latinx undergraduate student organizations. Additional support is provided by Barnard Student Life and GS Student Life.

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Black Graduation

This ceremony serves as an intimate gathering for family, friends, and members of the black Columbia community to celebrate the culture and accomplishments of the undergraduate graduating class.

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Asian Graduation

The Asian Graduation Reception is an annual celebration recognizing the achievements of our graduating Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American communities on campus. In collaboration with the Columbia Alumni Association and the Asian Columbia Alumni Association, we honor the legacies of heritages and histories, the voices that have individually and collectively impacted the University, and the invaluable network of shared strength and support among fellow Columbians – past and present.
As they prepare for commencement, graduating students are presented at the reception with a gift to wish them continued success in their future endeavors.

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Multicultural Affairs


510 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-0720

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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