Graduation cap creativity


UWW graduate shows off a cat decorated cap

Felicity Knabenbauer , Lifestyle Editor

Creativity can be found in various areas throughout the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. One does not have to look far to be within reach of one of the many artistic areas provided by the university. One such locale is Roberta’s Art Gallery located in the University Center. This gallery is a place that constantly showcases art, whether it be in person or online. Another place on campus to let artistry shine is the Crossman Gallery. This gallery serves the Department of Art and Design, UW-Whitewater, and the community by being a place to display works of art for the public to admire. Last but not least, there is also the largest building on campus, the Greenhill Center of the Arts which is home to the Crossman Gallery along with Barnett Theatre, Hicklin Studio Theatre, Light Recital Hall, and van Steenderen Family Atrium. These environments enable any student at UW-W who wishes to show-off their artistic, musical or theatrical nature can do so in a structured and personalized environment.

Being surrounded and reminded of the arts on a daily basis eventually bleeds some of that creativity and imagination into projects of self-expression among the UW-W students. This can be seen in a variety of different ways whether it be through chic clothing, showing off art work or decorated doorways. There are always different and captivating ways the students are expressing themselves through art. Around this time of year we can expect a very popular artform to emerge full throttle. This artform being, of course, decorated graduation caps.

While some high schools and colleges across the nation and in Wisconsin do not allow their graduate students to decorate their caps, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has no qualms about this. They allow their students to go all out to show a last big burst of creative pride before they graduate from the university and start their lives out in the real world. 

The themes are incredibly diverse when it comes to how the caps will be decorated. Some students like to go for puns and comical sayings such as “99 problems, but a degree ain’t one.” Others will take inspiration from pop culture and media to create something hilarious and witty. One example is a cap decorated to the theme of the movie, Harry Potter. On it is the character Dobby the house-elf, holding a diploma, with bold lettering above him that says, “Master has given Dobby a diploma. Dobby is free!” Other graduates may simply hot-glue a few flowers on their caps and paste on the words, “Class of 21’.”

No matter how the graduation cap is decorated, anyone who witnesses the dedication and hard work these students have done to make it to this point will smile widely with pride as they see how far these graduates have come and still have the energy and creativity to highlight their outfits as they walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduating class of 2021 will have their commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at Kachel Fieldhouse in the Williams Center.

For more information about the commencement visit

Because the December 18th ceremony is so close to Christmas, this student wrapped their graduation cap in wrapping paper and decorated it to look like a present with a honors cord bow.