As early as the late 1980s honor cords were awarded to graduates of Roberson to recognize the excellence and achievement for select students.
“They are called honor cords and they represent an honor that has been earned; [each organization does] a certain level of academics and does things that are required in order to earn a cord. It is basically because you have done something above and beyond,” office secretary Lori Wagner said.
The honor cords are typically worn by students during graduation, and this year, represent two categories of academic cords: school-related activities and national honor societies.
In an honor society club like Mu Alpha Theta, active involvement is required in order to earn a cord.
“To get the cord you have to be an involved member: do some tutoring, go to some competitions, and a variety of other things,” math teacher Cindy Hallman-Morris said.
Reilly Sullivan, a senior and president of Advanced Ensemble, agreed that her class required time and energy, another common characteristic of the academically-corded organizations.
“It’s for students who want to take chorus more seriously and who are willing to put extra time and effort because in Advanced Ensemble, we do a lot of things after school that other classes necessary don’t do. You have to be really committed and eager to learn new things,” Sullivan said.
According to Wagner, in the past, as many as 17 organizations were recognized with honor cords. However, this year only nine cords will be awarded, encompassing fewer individual organizations. Organizers of the process began to see a trend that the honor cords were no longer seeming like an honor because there were so many.
“Last year we downsized. We tried to keep it all academic honor cords though. It stopped being an honor because so many cords were out there,” Wagner said.
A number of the organizations were combined into one single cord that represents an overall area of focus.
For example, the French, Spanish, and Latin cords were simplified into a Foreign Language cord instead, which according to Wagner, helps to unify the area of focus with having the same color.
National Honor society advisor Jill Sizemore likes the concept of the cords and believes many seniors have worked diligently to earn the extra recognition.
“Historically at graduation, people are honored for efforts above and beyond the minimal effort. This is something that students earn the right to wear,” Sizemore said.
Biomedical technology teacher Haley Galimore said she kept the cords from National Honor Society and Art Honor Society from her high school graduation due to the value they carry with them. She believes that honor cords should be kept as prestigious as possible.
“It is important that the cords really mean something and really are an honor rather than it being ‘where everyone gets a trophy.’ I think it is good that the really outstanding students get the honor of wearing them,” Galimore said.
Overall, graduating seniors who will be receiving cords are looking forward to getting recognized for their excellence and achievement.
“I think the cords are just another thing to look forward to for graduation and kind of an incentive to keep going and to finish,” Sullivan said.