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Going out in Style: Mortarboard Messages

Heart Among the Hills cap


You can always bank on hearing “Pomp and Circumstance” at any given commencement ceremony. But for some graduating students, a little extra “pomp” is in order. It's right on top of their noggins.

Commencement is a time when you can see, regardless of field of study, creativity let loose.

Messages of love and appreciation and personal statements about life's journeys adorn the mortarboards (the fancy word for cap) of many every year at Commencement.

As we enter graduation season 2017, let's take a look at some of the more inspiring mortarboards in recent years at West Virginia University.

‘I knew I could’

I Knew I Could


Just because it's in a children's book doesn't mean you have to leave sound advice behind in your youth.

This 2011 graduate of the College of Education and Human Services knew he or she could do it with some inspiration from “The Little Engine That Could.”

Humor us

Bald spot cap


Well, that's one resourceful use of a graduation cap. And you won't have to spend money on hair replacement. This was taken from a student-athlete reception in December 2015. 

Dad, you're embarrassing me

Mickey Mouse cap


Who said that only the graduates get to have fun? Here, Jack Hash, of Melbourne, Fla., waits outside the Coliseum for his daughter Kimberly Hash, a criminology major, in May 2012. His wife works for Disney and gave him the Mickey Mouse cap for the event.

What a wonderful phrase 

Hakuna cap


Arts major? Nah. 

This exercise physiology student fooled you and showed off her more creative side with this ode to “The Lion King” at a May 2016 ceremony. 

25 or 6 to 4?

Clock cap


Is this some profound expression about the ongoing clock of life?

Is 5:15 significant to this graduate?

Or since he's graduating from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, maybe he wants to build clocks? But you probably don't need an engineering degree to do that. So many questions.  

Admission from afar

Tattoo cap


Good call on this 2016 graduate of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences revealing her secret on the day of commencement.

How can mom be mad at her on this grand day of achievement?

Just don't tell her where the tattoo is located.

A pointed statement 

spike tie


Obviously, this isn't a mortarboard. But it was part of Commencement fashion in 2016. Surely this may be one bow tie that President Gordon Gee doesn't own.

Forever a Mountaineer 

Forever a Mountaineer cap


No matter what's on your cap or wherever “Country Roads” take our graduates, we are all bound by this simple message above.

We’re listening. You are our greatest voice. So use it. Use this form to send us story ideas, letters to the editor, questions for a future guest on Ask an Expert, memories for the Flashback section or tales for the Alumni Diary.

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