Graduation has long been a moment of pride for CLA's alumni board. Every year thousands of students earn their degrees and simultaneously step into the ranks of our alumni. Far too often, though, the cost of graduation regalia prevents students from attending their own commencement ceremony. As students reach the finish line of their undergraduate education, reality sets in and many prepare to repay student loans whether or not they have secured a job. For some, purchasing a cap and gown—attire required in order to attend Commencement ceremonies—isn't in the cards.
College of Liberal Arts Alumni board member Jeremy Goodman took note of this struggle and asked his fellow board members to rally around a micro-campaign to break down that cost barrier.
I heard from multiple students saying they were so excited to graduate but were not planning to [attend the ceremony] as the cost of the cap and gown was too enormous for them. Those comments really shook me to the core. I saw a need for students on campus that, if fulfilled, would allow everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate their special day. It is important to honor these magical moments in one's life.
Assistant Dean of Student Services Chris Wolfgang called the board's micro-campaign a very thoughtful gesture to ensure all students can take part in graduation.
Without these funds, students' hard work culminates in a degree but doesn't necessarily afford them the graduation ceremony. You cannot underestimate how meaningful this moment is for students and it's inspiring to see our alumni board recognize this importance and ensure all students can celebrate their accomplishments.
The micro-campaign raised the funds needed to purchase two dozen caps and gowns to be lent to graduating students with financial need for years to come. Thanks to the donors' generosity, student advisors are excited to promote the initiative more widely going forward.
'Owls are everywhere' is a phrase we often hear among Temple alumni. and the deeper unspoken truth to that is that owls are looking out for each other everywhere.