2  Graduation, Commencement, And Graduation Party

Graduation and Commencement

At the end of the school year, graduating seniors at high schools and universities gather with their families and friends at commencement (graduation) ceremonies.  Universities typically have a guest speaker, but at high schools the valedictorian  and salutatorian deliver the commencement address.

The graduates wear robes in the colors of their school, and a "mortarboard" hat with a tassel.  Students who have earned a high grade point average will graduate “cum laude” (with honors), "magna cum laude" (with high honors), or "summa cum laude" (with highest honors).  These students often wear a special colored sash draped over their shoulders or a different colored tassel.  Some students write messages on their hats, but this is frowned upon.

During the ceremony the students move their tassels to the other side of their hat, signifying they have graduated.  Then they form lines and walk to the front to receive their diploma.  Each student's name is recited as the school principal or university official hands them their diploma, which is printed on parchment (high quality paper).  At the end of the ceremony, despite being told not to in some cases, the students throw their hats high into the air in celebration.  It is impressive to see several hundred students in colorful robes throw their hats into the air simultaneously and cheer < http://commencement.stanford.edu/ >< http://www.commencement.harvard.edu/ >< http://www.isd622.org >

Graduation Party at School

Schools may host parties for the graduates, even overnight parties.  The party is sometimes held at the school.  Parents and teachers volunteer to chaperone (supervise).  There are games, contests, activities, sports, and movies.  Some even have fake casinos, where the players can win fake money and use it to buy prizes.

The "Open House" Graduation Party

Most high school students, and some college students, have a graduation party to celebrate.  The party is usually at the student's home, although some are held at hotels and parks.  Friends and relatives bring gifts – a lot of times a gift card containing money.  The family often serves food and punch.  The guests fill the house, and may fill the garage, backyard, and front yard.  Children and teenagers might play lawn games, such as croquet, lawn darts, or volleyball while the graduate discusses his/her plans for the future with the adults.  After the party is over, it is traditional for the graduate to write thank you notes to those who gave gifts.  

Graduation photos & videos

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modified: June 2015
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