When members of the University of South Florida Class of 2015 receive their diplomas, they will be decked out in green. The school dismissed the basic black graduation gowns.
This year’s gowns are green and have the USF insignia on the chest in gold. The new gowns not only look different, but they have a secret bottled up inside.
Each gown is made of 23 recycled plastic bottles.
“It’s ensuring that we have a future for the next generation,” said student body president and graduating senior Jean Cocco. “It’s reducing CO2 usage by 54 percent,” he continued.
USF was recently named one of America’s Greenest Schools by Sierra Magazine for programs like this year’s graduation ceremony. The students proposed and planned a sustainable commencement. That means USF joined Ivy League schools with similar ceremonies.
“For example, Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale. They were promoting so-called sustainable commencements,” said Cocco.
The green gowns cost more green too. For a Bachelor’s degree robe, the graduate must pay $64.98. That’s up from the $46 in previous years. A Master’s degree robe will now cost $104.98 which is higher than the $76 robes of the past.
Despite the price hike, graduating seniors are proud of the legacy the leave at the school.
“I think that we all have to contribute back to the world. That USF is making just such a great step toward that goal, it’s great to be a Bull,” said Omar Quesaea, a finance major.
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