Parents and Families

Honors Cord

Is your student sustainability minded? Do they work or volunteer to make a positive impact on the environment? If so, they may be eligible to receive an Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord for graduation.

A University of Michigan partnership has established the Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord, launching with the upcoming spring graduation, in order to recognize students who went the extra mile to further their knowledge of and skills in applying sustainability principles while studying at the U-M.  

Applications will open in mid-March and be accepted until April 11. The program also encourages students to join the program’s LinkedIn alumni network and receive a senior spotlight on various social media outlets.

“We want to bring awareness to the social and environmental sustainability impact students are making at the University of Michigan. From working to promote sustainable food justice to lessening their environmental footprint to volunteering with the Maize and Blue Cupboard we have students working diligently to make a difference within our communities and for our planet,” said Alex Bryan, Sustainability Programs Manager for Student Life.  “Students who receive a cord are committed to a future ethic of sustainability. The program also offers an alumni database for former and current honors cord recipients to interact and combine their efforts.”

At the beginning of their final year at U-M, students can apply to receive a cord, join an alumni LinkedIn network and have the opportunity to be part of a sustainability spotlight series. The cords are made from sustainable materials and designed on-campus by STAMPS School of Art & Design.

Partners in the project, led by Student Life, include the Program in the Environment, the International Institute, the Campus Farm, the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Sustainable Living Experience, Office of Campus Sustainability, MDining, the Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, the UM Sustainable Food Program and Planet Blue Student Leaders. 

Some of the activities that would qualify your student for an Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord  include:

  • Volunteering at an event related to sustainability
  • Completing a sustainability-focused internship
  • Receiving a sustainability-related degree or minor
  • Conducting research in a sustainability field
  • Enrolling in a sustainability-focused course
  • Becoming a Planet Blue Ambassador
  • Participating in a Sustainable Living Experience (SLE) theme community
  • Serving as an SLE peer mentor
  • Working at the campus farm

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and increased remote learning, there is a virtual certificate for those unable to pick up the cord in Ann Arbor.

Applications and more information can be found at