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Syracuse University and SUNY ESF to provide free caps and gowns for all undergraduate degree candidates
Syracuse University and SUNY ESF to provide free caps and gowns for all undergraduate degree candidatesJanuary 31, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Beginning with the May 2006 Commencement exercises, all Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) bachelor’s degree candidates will receive their caps and gowns free of charge, eliminating the need for renting or purchasing. Additionally, undergraduate degree candidates from both schools will now don new regalia, replacing the traditional black gowns.
In addition to saving students the cost of renting, the new caps and gowns add distinctiveness to the two institutions’ convocations and Commencement ceremony.
Throughout the past several months, the Syracuse University Bookstore has worked with Herff Jones Collegiate Caps & Gowns to design the new, custom gowns. SU bachelor’s degree graduates will now wear blue gowns, featuring the University seal and an orange stripe around the wristband. ESF bachelor degree graduates will wear green gowns, featuring the ESF seal and a white stripe around the wristband. Master’s and doctoral degree candidates will continue to rent their traditional garb, which includes black gowns and distinctive hoods according to their degrees.
A committee formed in the Fall 2005 semester to discuss the process of students obtaining their caps and gowns for Commencement. This committee, composed of SU and ESF administrators, faculty and students, provided Chancellor Nancy Cantor with its proposal for the redesign of the student gowns and offering these gowns free to bachelor’s degree candidates. Cantor reviewed and approved the committee’s proposal.
“We’re excited about the new gown design that will bring added color and distinctiveness to Commencement,” says Sandra Hurd, University marshal and committee member. “In working with the school/college and class marshals on this committee, we realized that creating a new tradition of free caps and gowns would be a huge benefit for seniors in the hectic weeks surrounding final exams and Commencement.”
This year only, because the state budget and funding cycle makes it impossible for ESF to subsidize the cost of new gowns for the 2006 graduation, SU will pay the cost of the new ESF custom gowns for undergraduate degree candidates.
SU plans to make this a continuing tradition and will provide free caps and gowns to students for the 2007 Commencement and subsequent years. ESF administrators are exploring how the cap-and-gown expenses will be handled in future years for ESF students.
Other colleges and universities have similarly moved toward custom caps and gowns for undergraduate candidates in recent years, including the University of Illinois, Arizona State University, the University of Delaware and Niagara University.
The 2006 SU/ESF joint Commencement exercises will take place Sunday, May 14, in the Carrier Dome.