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Archive for Monday, May 20, 2002

Hats off to graduates

Fashionable mortarboards help students get noticed in sea of black

May 20, 2002

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How do you stand out in a crowd of 4,000 people, all wearing black caps and gowns?

Simply put, you wear something different. Like a giant, blue cowboy hat.

Graduates in the School of Medicine celebrate by popping the cork
on champagne bottles as their degrees are conferred. In all, more
than 4,000 new graduates participated in KU Commencement ceremonies
Sunday at Memorial Stadium.

Graduates in the School of Medicine celebrate by popping the cork on champagne bottles as their degrees are conferred. In all, more than 4,000 new graduates participated in KU Commencement ceremonies Sunday at Memorial Stadium.

"I never got around to buying a cap," said Dave Jack, a business administration major from Andover sporting a 10-gallon foam Stetson. "I borrowed this gown from a buddy of mine who graduated last year."

If your parents are going to quickly notice you in the hour-long string of graduates streaming down Campanile Hill, you have to be different from the crowd.

Many graduates tied balloons to their caps. Crimson and blue, Scooby Doo and "Congratulations, Graduate" balloons topped the list. Others wrote on the top of their caps, such as a liberal arts and sciences grad who wrote "I did it ... somehow."

But that wasn't enough for students like Tho Nguyen, a nursing graduate from Gladstone, Mo. At the urging of her sister, already a nurse, Nguyen blew up two rubber gloves like balloons and pinned them to her mortarboard.

"She always says hand-washing is very important as a nurse," Nguyen said.

Rebecca Evans, a history and political science graduate from Plover, Wis., showed her team spirit on her graduation-day garb but not for the Jayhawks. She wore a cheesehead hat in honor of the Green Bay Packers

"I'm a huge Packers fan," she said. "It's also so my parents can find me."


Jason Gladfelter, a history graduate from Topeka, carried an American flag down the hill in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I've always been a patriotic guy, and I didn't want those (jerks) to get the better of our country," he said.

Brad Weiner, a English major from Englewood, Colo., showed his spirit for his favorite brew. He was wearing a Guinness top hat his friend stole from a pub in Manchester, England.

"I'm a really big Guinness fan, and I'm a really short guy," he said. "I'm 5'3" without (the hat) and probably about 6 feet with it. You've got to do something unique, or you'll just blend in."

Speech-Language Pathology graduate students, from left, Ashley
Little of Fairway, Michelle Calton of Lee's Summit, Mo., and
Lindsay Randle of Arkansas City make their way to the Campanile for
the beginning of commencement.

Speech-Language Pathology graduate students, from left, Ashley Little of Fairway, Michelle Calton of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Lindsay Randle of Arkansas City make their way to the Campanile for the beginning of commencement.

Chris Holzwart, Fort Collins, Colo., opts for alternate
transportation to descend down Campanile Hill and into Memorial
Stadium. Holzwart and his unicycle were in the procession with
members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Chris Holzwart, Fort Collins, Colo., opts for alternate transportation to descend down Campanile Hill and into Memorial Stadium. Holzwart and his unicycle were in the procession with members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dana Bottenfield, Lawrence, attracts attention with a
flower-festooned mortarboard. She was keeping in contact with
family members via a cell phone Sunday before she picked up her
bachelor's degree in English.

Dana Bottenfield, Lawrence, attracts attention with a flower-festooned mortarboard. She was keeping in contact with family members via a cell phone Sunday before she picked up her bachelor's degree in English.

Xavier Stevens, Garnett, wore a straw hat in place of his
mortarboard. He was awarded a bachelor's degree in computer science
from KU's engineering school.

Xavier Stevens, Garnett, wore a straw hat in place of his mortarboard. He was awarded a bachelor's degree in computer science from KU's engineering school.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway gives a final salute to the class of
2002.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway gives a final salute to the class of 2002.

Cheesehead Rebecca Evans of Plover, Wis., surveys the crowd
gathering for commencement. Evans, a Green Bay Packers fan, earned
a bachelor's degree in political science.

Cheesehead Rebecca Evans of Plover, Wis., surveys the crowd gathering for commencement. Evans, a Green Bay Packers fan, earned a bachelor's degree in political science.

Mortarboards aren't just for having something to attach a tassel
to, these Kansas University graduates show. Dozens of graduates
participating in Sunday's commencement ceremonies at KU decorated
their headgear with messages or artwork.

Mortarboards aren't just for having something to attach a tassel to, these Kansas University graduates show. Dozens of graduates participating in Sunday's commencement ceremonies at KU decorated their headgear with messages or artwork.

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