Cap off the college years: Graduation order deadline Friday

Cap and gown orders are due Friday for those graduating. For the approximately 6,000 students graduating May 7, this week is the time for spending money to congratulate oneself.

Garrick Dean, graduating in fine arts, bought himself a graduation ring.

“I didn’t get a high school ring and I think it’s a symbol of what I achieved…and it’s something visible on your hand other people can see,” he said.

Maren Slaugh, graduating in political science, said she’s glad to get out of school and plans on spending about $300 for announcements and other graduating accessories.

Dean, Slaugh and many others interviewed said they were planning on attending both the morning commencement exercises and the latter ceremony where they receive their diplomas.

Alumni Association President Jeff Hilton helped organize this year’s ceremony.

“It’s really a culmination of a lot of work and sweat and effort. In today’s society, I think it’s good for us to have the opportunity to congratulate ourselves. Students deserve a pat on the back,” he said.

Poloko Mmonadibe, graduating with a master’s degree in social work, received her bachelor’s degree from a university in Botswana.

She said the U’s ceremony is similar to the one in Botswana, but a major difference is that the president of Botswana is also the chancellor for the university, so graduates get to meet the president as part of the ceremony. Although she’s not planning on buying a gown, she says she likes the variations in patterns and colors.

As students line up to buy caps and tassels, Dana Sowby, associate director of Career Services, is polling them to create statistics on the graduating class.

Career Services conducts direct polling every year as seniors congregate to buy graduating accessories. They also have an online poll and make phone calls.

The statistics reflect the success of U graduates in getting jobs or being accepted into graduate schools.

The statistics are often requested by legislators, employers, prospective students, the media and U administration, Sowby said. Students can look at the average salaries earned by graduates of their departments, she said.

Bernie and Christine Machen, the U’s former president and first lady, will come back to congratulate graduates.

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