By Marisa A. Grey, Communications & Marketing Intern
For the first time ever, Norfolk State University will allow graduating seniors to decorate their mortar boards in honor of the upcoming 100th Commencement ceremony to be held May 6, at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Senior class president Tichira Smith thought of the idea as a way for students to express themselves. “The senior class would like to express their individuality on commencement day,” said Smith, who is graduating and plans to decorate her own cap. “We understand and agree that commencement is about the senior class as a whole. However, we have helped each other throughout these last four years, but we each have our own individual journey. It would allow us to express pieces of that journey with not only our classmates, but our family and friends as well.”
Students had to submit their cap decorating ideas to the Provost, Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones, for approval by March 31. Dr. Jones has been instrumental in allowing this monumental experience to take place. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Class of 2017 to celebrate both the achievement of an important personal milestone and NSU’s 100th commencement through colorful expression atop their mortar boards. The excitement is mounting – literally,” said Jones.
Once their designs had been approved, students are to participate in the Cap it Off event April 20, at the Student Center. That’s when they will bring what they drew on paper to life on their mortar boards. All caps must be decorated exactly like their approved mock-ups. Once completed, students must get final approval before wearing them in the commencement ceremony.