Many students do not meet the criteria to be invited to honor societies, but a new company called Impress My Parents is offering a solution that may not be available at Troy University.
Impress My Parents is a website where you can buy your own cords and stoles for graduation day.
Charlie Gasmire, a graduate from Baylor University, started the company in early March selling cords and stoles for graduation.
According to the Troy University website, “only authorized honor cords, or medallions may be worn with the cap and gown at commencement. These are ordered through your Honor Society.”
Gasmire’s opinion is that “We should celebrate the fact that students graduate, not their GPA, because most of what they learn happens outside of the classrooms.”
“I had a 3.4 GPA, which I thought, all things considered, was respectable,” he wrote on the website. “A week before graduation, my parents asked what GPA I ended up with, and when I told them, to my surprise they were less than enthused.”
Gasmire then decided to make his own graduation outfit by buying stoles from Hobby Lobby, and cutting and taping ropes together to get cords.
“It looked so funny, and was perfect for last college memories,” Gasmire said of his graduation day.
According to Gasmire, his parents were happy seeing him on stage with stoles and different cords. Later, as he confessed to them, they laughed at his idea and sense of humor.
“I also received a lot of positive feedbacks like: ‘Gosh, I wish I would have done something like that’ or ‘You looked awesome on stage,’ which later inspired me and my friend, David Grubbs to start the company,” Gasmire said.
As the former president of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, and a campus involvement enthusiast at Baylor University, Gasmire thinks that GPA should not be the criterion of people’s judgment.
According to Gasmire, students can look smarter and more accomplished on their graduation day.
“We started to get that idea in October last year in normal lunch talk,” Gasmire said. “As we had already had some start-ups with each other, it did not take us much time doing all legal procedures needed.”
Impress My Parents officially went into operation in early March.
“We have cords and stoles in different colors. Students can choose from the sets we offer or purchase them separately,” Gasmire said. “So far there are 12 options for cord colors, and seven for stoles.
“There are some standard colors, but we also offer unique colors like rainbow, which will definitely make the students stand out from other fellows.”
“We are getting orders right now, and will ship every order starting on May 1,” Gasmire said.
Gasmire said that as the company and the idea are new to students, they are focusing on marketing to universities and social media.
Lauren Leffert, a senior nursing major from Birmingham, said that she did not think there was a public shop to buy cords and stoles from.
According to Leffert, students have to be invited to the honors societies first, then they will have access to buy the cords and stoles.
“I couldn’t see those cords and stoles until I accepted their invitation to the honor society,” she said.
“At first I thought the website was a joke, but they are serious. People really aren’t supposed to be able to buy them outside of getting honors,” Leffert said. “The whole point is that you earned it. So, honestly to me, it’s a little upsetting because they didn’t earn it.”
Jeffery Morris, a sophomore global business major from LaGrange, Georgia, said that he liked the idea. However, according to him, it is fine if they wear cords that don’t have any meaning, but if they wear honor cords, it’s unfair to people who actually worked hard for four years to earn it.