Lynita Miller checked out the variety of letters, colors and art possibilities for her graduation cap before sitting down and going to work on making it her own unique creation.
Miller, 23, of Whitehall, initially thought about putting a Bible verse on the top of the cap but decided it was a little too long, so she instead went with “All Glory Be To Christ.”
Miller enjoyed taking 20 minutes Tuesday to bedazzle her cap, relishing the break from her last week in school. She has attended UW-Eau Claire for 4½ years — earning a certificate in American Sign Language is one reason she attended an extra semester — and she will be moving out of Towers North in a week.
“I didn’t want to be too stressed out, carrying an 18-credit load,” she said of staying in school an extra semester.
Miller hasn’t lined up a job yet but plans to stay around Eau Claire.
“I can’t believe (graduation) is here — it’s not sinking in yet,” she said. “It’s kind of scary.”
Deb Lang, UW-Eau Claire events and special projects coordinator, has been in her role for six years, and she’s noticed a smattering of students who have created artwork on their graduation caps each year. She’s been impressed with the ideas she’s seen.
“The messages were so clever and significant to their experiences here at UW-Eau Claire, we wanted to give them an opportunity to do it,” Lang said. “This has just been an effort to encourage individuality.”
In May, the university decided to set up a table at Schofield Hall for students to drop by and work on decorating their caps. The art table was set up Monday and will stay up through today. Lang said she walks by the table periodically through the day and there is usually one or more students working on them.
Pictures of past caps have ranged from sayings like “Dream Big” to “Thanks Mom & Dad” to “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” One humorous cap read, “I still don’t know what a Blugold is.”
No awards are given out for creativity, but Lang wouldn’t rule that out.
“We’ve thrown that idea around,” she said.
A total of 780 students will graduate this weekend, she said. About 73 percent of students have said they will go through commencement, which is lower than normal, she added. Usually, the number is above 80 percent.
“Being recognized in front of their peers is important to them,” Lang said.
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