Graduation ceremonies at colleges and universities are joyful celebrations marking the end of a major milestone. Certain rituals such as wearing caps and gowns and hoods are traditional at most schools, but some academic institutions take their rituals a few steps further to create unique and memorable send-offs.
Decorate the Mortarboard
Some graduates add more to their mortarboard than a few tassels. Architectural students at certain universities use the skills they learned in class to create 3-D structures on their flat mortarboard hats (mortarboards, by the way, get their name from the bricklayers’ tool they resemble). These future architects build model bridges, houses, skyscrapers, and amusement-park rides on their caps. Because the inventive structures end up towering above the brims, the architectural students sit in the back, so they won’t block anyone’s view.
Plant a Tree
What better metaphor for graduating college students than planting a tree. At the commencement ceremonies of some universities, graduates are gifted hemlock saplings to plant somewhere out in the world. Not only does this symbolize growth and taking root in a new chapter of life, it is also good for the planet and a nod to green living.
Carry Green Apples
As a tribute to one school’s tradition, students carry green apples with them as they pick up their diplomas. These scholars also give apples as gifts to the school president and wear fruit pins to further promote the symbolic gesture.
Pass Around the Diplomas
At one women’s college, students sit in a circle and pass around all the diplomas until they find their own, and then drop out of the circle. This is a nice way to share the experience of seeing your name on a degree and is one last circle of community before graduating and going your own way.
Jump Into the Fountain
Graduates at one school traditionally jump into the college fountain when they hear their names called from the podium. It’s a good thing graduation ceremonies occur during warm seasons of the year.
Recycling gowns is good for the environment. Most graduates rent their attire, and then return them to the rental company after commencement. One school takes recycling quite a bit further, however, since students make their gowns out of recyclable plastic soda bottles. Not only do they recycle the bottles into garments; students are encouraged to recycle the entire gown after graduation.
When classes lets out for the very last time for graduating seniors, it’s the perfect time to go a little crazy with some unique graduation traditions. These are just a few ideas; can you add a few to the list?