Merchandise can greatly help create unity and establish an identity for your chapter.  With uniform t-shirts, sweatshirts, patches, polos, buttons, key chains bags, cardigans, blazers, or whatever you choose, you can increase recognition across campus and in the community.

Don’t forget that in your New Member Packet, the National Office provides all members with graduation cords!

Is cost a concern? If so, you may consider having the chapter purchase a “set” of apparel that is then rented for a small fee to members.  This works best with items such as fleeces, cardigans, blazers, and other outwear rather than shirts.  Many chapters keep the same t-shirt design for several years so that they can be passed down, or printed for lower cost since set-up cost is typically waived on re-orders.  The continuity will also increase recognition for your chapter on campus.


When considering the types of merchandise you want your chapter to purchase, think about: traditions, local weather, popular trends, and cost.  Some chapters will purchase one item (typically a shirt) for their new members, but in addition have other items for purchase as well.

Here are some apparel ideas from our chapters:

✴  Chadron State College members wear red blazers to which they attach the patches supplied by the National Office in New Member Packets.
✴  Northern Arizona University encourages members to wear red business suits once a month.  They buy them at department stores or thrift stores.
✴  Southeastern Oklahoma University CKs wear red stoles during graduation and other important events.
✴  Truman State University members get t-shirts and a red sweatshirt when they join, & wear red cardigans with the Key embroidered on them to the first meeting of the month.

Red is the dominant Cardinal Key color; however, if for some reason it’s not feasible (we’re talking to you, Auburn!), you could use gold, or black with red and/or gold accents.

Below are some sample designs.  All graphics on this website are the property of Cardinal Key National Honor Society, Ins. Please contact us if you would like to use any of these designs.







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