Military and Veteran Honor Cords

KU recognizes student veterans and military students with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher with Military and Veteran Honor Cords to wear at graduation.

These red, white and blue cords are a special recognition to show KU's gratitude and respect for the men and women who have made an unwavering commitment to both their nation and their academic studies.

This is a voluntary program. Students attending graduation must apply and pick up a free cord prior to graduation.


Sign up to receive notification on cord distribution datesRed, white and blue honor cord


Who's eligible

If you have applied for graduation, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and are:

  • Honorably discharged student veteran, or
  • Currently serving military student (Active, Guard, Reserves), or
  • ROTC cadet

What we need to verify status 

  • DD-214 (veterans) or valid military ID card (Active/Guard/Reserve). Expired/veteran ID cards cannot be used.

Where/when to pick up cords

  • December graduates: Beginning Dec. 4. See "Alternate pickups" for the location based on your campus.
  • May graduates primary pickup: Annual Military-Affiliated Community Year-End/Graduation Reception and Honor Cord Ceremony. This event is free and open to all military-affiliated students, alumni, staff, faculty and their guests.
    • April 24, 2019, 4:30-6 p.m., Adams Alumni Center. More details/RSVP info coming soon.
  • Alternate pickups:
    • After May 1, Lawrence undergraduate/graduate students: Military-Affiliated Student Center, 345 Summerfield Hall (1300 Sunnyside Lane), Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • ROTC cadets: You will receive from your respective units.
    • After May 1, Lawrence graduate students: Graduate Military Programs, 222 Strong Hall, Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • After May 1, KU-Edwards students: Office of Student Services, Regents Center, Room 210F. Questions? Contact Lisa Browning at 913-897-8615.
    • After May 1, KU Medical Center students: Dykes Library, Registrar's Office, Room G035. Contact John at 913-588-7055
    • Online students participating in commencement: nearest KU location. If picking up outside of Lawrence, please call 785-864-2458 or email by Nov. 30 (December graduates) or April 25 (May graduates) so we can make sure there's a cord for you.


  • Stop by the Military-Affiliated Student Center, 345 Summerfield Hall; call 864-2458; or email





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One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times