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Hats off to graduation

Many graduates choose to pay tribute to the University of Arizona on their graduation caps. (Photo by: Haley Ford/Arizona Sonora News Service)

The mortarboard signifies superiority and intelligence, but millennial graduates are putting a new spin on the traditional commencement regalia by decorating their caps.

From meaningful phrases, rhinestones, glitter, paint, and more, graduates are going over the top to highlight their personalities on their graduation caps.

In recent years, the decoration of graduation caps has become a popular new tradition for graduates to pay homage to their university or highlight the next chapter in their life.

“I wanted it to be U of A themed, but also Arizona themed at the same time, since I am moving to California. So, I recreated the Arizona state flag with the block A in the middle,” said University of Arizona business management major, Kristyn Laswick.

Laswick explained that her search for the perfect design began during her junior year of college and she spent roughly six hours combing through the internet for inspiration. Ultimately, she chose a design that best reflected her personality, resembled the end of a chapter and her love for the University of Arizona.

The most popular source of inspiration for the perfect design includes a search on the online idea catalog, Pinterest. There are also professional decoration companies like Tassel Toppers, who will professionally design graduation caps for as low as $15. The possibilities are endless!

Elementary education major, Cassie Plote, proudly dons her new title on her graduation cap for commencement. (Photo by: Haley Ford/Arizona Sonora News Service)

University of Arizona elementary education major, Cassie Plote, said she felt some pressure added pressure to create the perfect design and avoid ruining her cap, but encourages other graduates to step out of their comfort zone and avoid overthinking the design; instead have fun and enjoy the experience!

When it comes to the tradition of tossing the mortarboard, Plote will opt to celebrate, “I am excited to throw my cap, because of the tradition and celebration that comes along with it. The hat is cool, but it is a once in a lifetime thing to experience, so I won’t be upset if the hat gets ruined. You look forward to this over the past year, if not a lifetime, and you want to be able to remember that you took place in those traditions.”

Congratulations to the class of 2017!

Haley Ford is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at haleycford@email.arizona.edu.

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