January 12, 1999

New procedure in place for purchasing graduation caps and gowns

Changes take effect beginning with Aug. 1 Summer Commencement

Valdosta State University has implemented a new procedure for students purchasing caps and gowns for commencement exercises. Students applying now to graduate at the Aug. 1 summer 1999 exercises are the first to be affected by the changes.

Students will no longer rent caps and gowns for graduation-they'll buy them, according to Tommye Miller, director of University Stores. Graduation regalia may be purchased during the Bookstore's Senior Salute, March 4-6, in the University Center. Students will also be able to order class rings and customized graduation announcements at that time, Miller said.

If a student can't attend Senior Salute, then they may stop at the University Center's Blazer Shop any time between March 7 and Summer Commencement to purchase their graduation regalia. Under this new system, customers will actually walk away with their caps and gowns at the time of purchase-the ordering system is eliminated. Undergraduate regalia will cost $26.95 plus tax while the graduate/doctoral regalia costs $52.95 plus tax.

Miller said this new system of purchasing caps and gowns-supported by the VSU Commencement Committee and approved by the president-should streamline graduation preparation for students and VSU personnel. Other benefits include:

* Students can now have their caps and gowns as a keepsake
* The window of opportunity to get regalia increases
* Students no longer have to stop by the Registrar's Office to be measured for regalia that must be returned

"This regalia is made of high quality synthetic fabric which does not wrinkle and which presents a professional image for the graduate," said Miller. "It is lighter in weight than the rental regalia which makes it cooler to wear in our South Georgia warm weather."

Meanwhile, the graduation fee structure also changes, effective with Summer 1999 Commencement. All students will pay a flat $25 graduation fee, as opposed to $25 for undergraduates and $35 for graduate/doctoral students under the former system. This fee covers the cost of mailing the diploma, printing the graduation program, and other incidentals associated with graduation.

For more information on the new cap and gown purchasing procedure, call the VSU Bookstore at 229-333-5666.

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