Graduates to wear custom gowns

Commencement in May 2016 is getting a new look. This year’s graduation ceremony is going to be yelling “go green, go gold,” with the new custom made regalia. 

The undergraduates will be the first in university history to be wearing custom made gowns for commencement. 

“At first I was nervous about the new gowns because I received a letter in the mail explaining that they were changing the style,” said senior communication major Morgan Beard. “The next day they unveiled the picture and I love them.”

The new gowns are green and will have the official Southeastern “S” logo on it. The “S” will be embroidered on both sides just below the shoulders. The gown will also have a matching green cap along with a green and gold tassel. 

“We have been ready to change that gown to something that looked more like Southeastern,” said Alumni Director Kathy Pittman. “We thought the time was really right for us to go ahead and look into this.”

The Alumni Center worked with Oak Hall to get custom gowns for this spring’s graduation.

“We work with Balfour for the Grad Fair and one of their recommendations was they work together with a company named Oak Hall, who does custom gowns,” said Pittman. “Oak Hall put several robes together and we ran it past the administration and they had some students and some faculty, and this is the particular one that they picked that they felt best represented Southeastern. We’re really pleased with it. I think it’s a good looking piece.”

There are many factors that the Alumni Association had to consider before making the final decision to get custom gowns this year.

“We have been talking about it with Grad Fair and the Alumni Association works with Gamma Beta Phi putting grad fair on and we’re the lead organization now,” said Pittman. “We decided that we have looked at this a couple times before and at one point we thought it was cost prohibitive, but it really isn’t. It’s only going to be like 10 dollars more to get a custom gown. We decided the timing was right, the price was right and we really wanted to do this to make Southeastern special. We want them to be proud to be alumni.” 

The masters and doctoral graduates will still be wearing the black gown, but these will now feature the Southeastern “S” starting with May 2016 commencement. 

“They will be custom,” said Pittman. “They have the logo on them. We asked the company to guide us on this because we thought about doing the green and they said traditionally most schools go with the black because of all the different hooding colors. We decided we would still do the custom gown, but they would be black rather than green.”

Pittman also thinks that finally deciding to have custom gowns will make an impact on students.

“I think it’s something that people will keep forever too because it’s theirs and its special,” said Pittman.