Sustainable Commitment Extends to Graduation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2011) – University of Kentucky students will lead by example as they march across the Commencement stage dressed in new, sustainable graduation regalia.

Bachelor- and master-degree candidates will attend the ceremony in the new gown, which will serve as the official regalia, embroidered with the academic wordmark. In making the decision, school officials considered the expressed desire of students to celebrate the UK graduation tradition in attire created with the utmost concern for the environment. Approximately 2,500 students will debut the new caps and gowns at graduation ceremonies to be held at Rupp Arena on Sunday, May 8, 2011.

The official graduation regalia will be available for purchase at Grad Salute, hosted by the Alumni Association at the King Alumni House from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, through Friday, March 4. Representatives from the UK Bookstore will be on site to assist graduating students with the purchase of their regalia needs.

The fabric used in Jostens Elements Collection™ was developed using 100% acetate material, selected after an extensive evaluation of various options. Based on scientific research, the fabric is proven to decompose in soil in one year. In addition, the coil zipper tape and teeth are made from 100% recycled PET. Earth friendly packaging contains material that facilitates the decomposition process of the cap and gown bag. The gown will not, however, decompose just hanging in the closet; it must be buried for the decomposition process to work effectively.

“The doctoral candidate wears a custom UK embroidered gown. Now we will offer embroidery on all gowns, including masters, professional school and other doctoral programs. This will make the look more consistent and students will have a keepsake after they receive their degree,” said Sally Wiatrowski, manager of the UK Bookstore.

Jostens also offers students an additional way to support the environment through a unique Student Give Back Program. When a student redeems their regalia hang tag code online, Jostens will contribute $1 to support a national environmental sustainability project.