The Class Of 2016’s Best Decorated Graduation Caps

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Last week we challenged the class of 2016 to send us their best decorated mortarboards. It did not disappoint, and we received dozens of submissions from students graduating this May. Ultimately, many of the submissions fell into several categories, which we’ve outlined below. If anything, the submissions demonstrated how creative and artistic the Penn State student body is. Without further adieu: the best graduation caps of 2016.

Penn State Pride

penn state inspired grad caps

Left: Kaulee Waugaman is graduating in May 2016 with a degree in industrial engineering. “I chose this part of the Alma Mater because it really resonates with our class. We’re the ones that stuck around, and chose to come to the best college in the world even when outsiders thought it was ‘shameful.’ So we all need to go make our marks on the world, and make sure those marks bring pride to us, and our legacy at Penn State.”

Middle: Christine Kilbride is graduating with a major in public relations. “I love Penn State, and I love my hometown. So I had to find a way to incorporate both!”

Right: Sarah Reese is graduating with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in international studies. “I’m sadly leaving ‘Dear Old State’ for graduate school at Temple University to study higher education in the fall. I was able to include PSU and TU on my cap. I’m excited to start, but I’ll always be a PSU girl at heart and definitely plan to cheer on the Nittany Lions when the two teams meet in September.”

penn state inspired grad caps

Left: Kasey Flyte is graduating in May 2016 with a major in biology.

Middle: Liana Van is graduating in May of 2016 with a degree in finance.

Right: Laura Daube is graduating this weekend with majors in political science and english.

The Major-Specific

major specific grad caps

Left: Emilio Figueroa Jr. will be graduating from Penn State Berks in the Spring of 2016 with a B.A. in criminal justice. His seal on his cap symbolizes his dream job and the blue ribbon symbolizes support for police officers on duty and support for those who have lost their lives while on duty.

Middle: Kendall Jordan is graduating on Saturday from Penn State Altoona with a major in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.

Right: Kaitlyn Minyon is graduating in 2016 with a major in electrical engineering. “I put this quote on my cap because there are hardly any women in EE and blondes are non-existent so this is how I’ve been known for the past few years. And I love embracing it.”

“Thanks Mom And Dad”

thanks mom and dad grad caps

Left: Katharine Dulin is graduating with a major in public relations. “I love my parents and they have been by my side since birth. But I have to give a shout out to the guy that makes me smile when I have a bad day or I just want to be happy. Tom Hanks is perfection and he is my favorite Actor. I even celebrate International Tom Hanks day (yes that’s a real day).”

Middle: Kimberly Lim is graduating with a major in elementary education. “I enjoyed piecing together every jewel of the Nittany Lion as I thought about my 4 years here. I majored in music my freshman year. Just like many other college students, I was still trying to find my way. I soon realized that music was a passion of mine, however, it was not something that I wanted to pursue as a career. As I switched majors from music to elementary education, my parents never stopped supporting me in all of my life choices. Educators are often not respected by other professions and my parents, whom are certified in other areas, supported and believed in me. Their support has helped me believe in my own students. I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that my parents were able to provide me, such as, putting me through the greatest University, Penn State.”

Right: Stephanie Bilyeu is graduating in 2016 with a major in early childhood education, specializing in middle level 4th-8th grade. “On January 15, 2016, I lost my childhood best friend, Spencer, to addiction. Pursuit of Happiness was Spencer’s favorite song, and listening to it now, I think this song had more meaning to him than I knew. To honor his memory, my friends and I have created a team called “Pursuit of Happiness” where we are fundraising and participating in the Hershey Half Marathon. Our fundraising efforts will go to The Herren Project…a non profit organization helping those struggling with addiction in hopes of a better future and recovery. Spencer had admired Chris Herren and found his story to be of great inspiration. Even though Spencer is no longer here to share his own story, my friends and I are on the pursuit of happiness to help spread awareness and offer support to all those struggling with addiction and their families. I thank my mom and dad especially for showing me strength and support throughout my life because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Addiction is a horrible disease and if you know anyone who is struggling the best you can do for them is love them unconditionally. I was taught what it meant to love unconditionally by my parents, for that I am grateful to have been there for my friend as much as a could and I hope he continues to watch over me.”

The Harry Potter

harry potter grad capsLeft: Amanda Bogetti will be graduating in the Spring of 2016 with a major in Middle School Education. “I love my cap because it embodies my love for Harry Potter and summarizes my situation perfectly. In the few months after I walk across the stage, I’m moving into the home I own with my fiancé, getting married, hopefully starting a new job, etc. The rest of my life is truly opening up at the close of my college years.”

Right: The cap on the right was submitted by Bailey Groves, who will be graduating this Spring in Biological Sciences. “I love Harry Potter and Science as anyone who is close to me knows, and I thought this would be bold so that I would be easy to pick out in the other 1,000 graduating science students.”

Television Inspired

television inspired grad caps

Left: Alexa Beil is graduating in May 2016 with a major in art history.

Right: Antonia Hodges will be graduating with a major in enterprise risk management and a minor in international business. “After graduation I’ll be moving to New York and so my cap embodies my love of New York City and Gossip Girl.”

Looking To The Future

grad caps

Left: Megan Caiazzo is graduating in 2016 with a major in veterinary and biomedical sciences and a minor in biology. “I wanted to decorate my cap in a way that showed what my future holds. I kept the background blue and wanted it to be as close to the Penn State blue as I could get. I’ll be attending UPenn for vet school and am super excited about it, so I showcased that with the decorations including the stethoscope, Dr’s coat, and a variety of animals (small and large).”

Middle: Jennifer Heymen is graduating in 2016 with a degree in psychology. “I’m going to McGill next year to get my PhD, so I decided to design my cap to celebrate my getting into graduate school. In 5 years, I’m going to get my Doctorate degree and officially become Dr. Heyman!”

Right: Kelsey Hoffman submitted this cap to let everyone know she’s off to work.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

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About Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a junior from Pittsburgh, PA and an editor at Onward State. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski

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