Graduates style caps to express individuality

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In a sea of 5,000 graduates wearing the same purple cap and gown, some students have said it is nearly impossible to stand out and express one’s individual style. Many students have taken it upon themselves to conceive a unique design for their caps in preparation SF State’s graduation ceremonies.

In the weeks prior to the SF State commencement, three girls spent time between final exams and projects embellishing the cap that will accompany them as they walk across the podium at AT&T Park to receive their diplomas .

Lyndsie Moore, who is graduating with a degree in communications, said she has been looking forward to decorating her cap since her high school graduation. The 22-year-old member of the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta found inspiration from Pinterest her junior year at SF State.

Moore’s cap is a tribute to her favorite movie, “Legally Blonde,” and appreciation for her parents. The screenwriter of the popular chick-flick was also an AGD, which linked the soon-to-be graduate with the quote adhered to the top of her dark purple cap: “What, like it’s hard?”

“I felt like it was a cool connection , plus it’s been one of my favorite movies forever,” Moore said.

Fiona Tolley, 21, is an apparel design and merchandising graduate who adapted other people’s ideas while adding her own personal flare.

“I incorporated my own major and, of course, San Francisco State by putting the Golden Gate Bridge,” Tolley said. Tolley covered her cap in purple rhinestones and pasted an Oscar-de-la-Renta-inspired sketch of a gown, which she drew herself.

Both alumni have set plans for after graduation. Moore said she has plans to intern at image-publishing company Shutterfly in Redwood City, California.

“Hopefully that will turn into a full-time position in the human resource department,” Moore said.

Tolley said she will be traveling abroad to Uganda to pursue a six-month internship with recycled jewelry company 31 Bits.

“I think it’s really cool when fashion companies are socially conscious,” Tolley said.

After spending so much time and money on decorating her graduation cap, Tolley said she plans to keep it as a memento of graduation.

Moore plans to make a shadow box, which will include her graduation stole and other remnants of her senior year at SF State.

For studio art major, Jacqueline Dailey, designing her cap symbolizes something entirely different. The 22-year-old, who is planning to print art professionally after graduation, said she sees the decorative cap as a representation of how society makes education possible for people who can afford it or are willing to be indebted for it.

“The only reason I am designing my cap would be to poke fun at the fact that the day all your hard work pays off, all you get is a piece of paper that says you paid $24,000 to ‘officially’ know how to make art,” Dailey said.

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