There was an excited buzz of conversation surrounding the Campus Store Complex as hundreds of graduating seniors queued up Mar. 8-9, 2023 for GradFest. The annual event was created to help graduates get everything they need in time for May commencement ceremonies.
In addition to ordering caps and gowns, grads could peruse memorabilia like class rings and diploma frames, as well as decorate the sashes that go over their gowns.
Lines snaked throughout the bookstore as the future alumni waited to make their purchases. They also geared up to take the first of many graduation photos.
“It was very eye-opening because it doesn’t feel like I’m going to graduate in a few months,” said Joshua Laxa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology.“ The crowd and decorations made it feel real,” Laxa said.
To offer in-person guidance, vendors such as Herff Jones and PrideSash set up laptops for students to order their caps, gowns, sashes and more.
Representatives from GradImages were there to snap professional photos of smiling seniors dressed in graduation regalia. The photos were then available for online purchase.
“It was convenient having everything in one place, especially since I was confused about where to get my graduation stuff,” said Anthony Lopez, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Those who took advantage of this annual two-day event could do more than shop. They could also ask questions about the commencement ceremonies, learn more about alumni association benefits, take photos and more.
Students who did not attend can still find a list of vendors and campus partners on the GradFest website.