2018 Graduation Guide: Everything you need to know before turning the tassel



Your graduation photos are a great opportunity to document your accomplishments and let friends and family have a look at your campus. But with a campus as huge as ASU, where do you even begin? Here’s a quick guide on where to take your grad photos, as well as some tips on props to go along with them.

Old Main is one of the nicest looking buildings on campus. With the terracotta and maroon exterior, lush lawns, water fountain and the classic “Normal School” sign, it’s an essential stop for your grad photos. You can take pictures splashing in the fountain (don’t get caught!), walking up or down the steps or with the sign; the possibilities are endless!
Prop tip: A common prop for those taking pictures at Old Main is popping Champagne. Just make sure you don’t break or leave any bottles behind!

We’ve all strolled down Palm Walk a million times. Why not commemorate one of your last walks? Any spot on Palm Walk can become a runway. The symmetry of the palms makes for a clean and simple grad photo.
Prop tip: Your own cap and gown may come in handy for this one! Work the runway and throw the gown to one side over your shoulder. If you have stoles or cords, add those too. Hold your grad cap in your opposite hand and take a walk. This is a cute way to show you’re leaving college, and emphasize your cap if you decorated it.

West Hall is beautifully lined with blooming flower bushes this time of year. With its symmetrical white pillars and walls, the building is a great backdrop. It’s also close enough to get some photos with Hayden Library.
Prop tip: Confetti and glitter poppers are a fan favorite. The simple devices explode with different colored confetti or glitter, make for a fun photo celebration and can be found at any typical craft store. Just make sure you clean up what you can!

The Secret Garden is generally well-hidden, but if you can find it, your pictures will be worth it. This time of year flowers, bushes and trees are all in full bloom, which make for great floral backgrounds and accents in any photo. Because it’s so hidden, there are typically not a lot of people to photo bomb your grad pics.
Prop tip: Really frame your photo with, well, an old picture frame! You can buy one from a craft store, or even find a cool vintage one from a thrift shop You can hold up the picture frame in front of yourself, have someone hold it for you or even grab some friends and pose in the frame.

Anywhere that says Arizona State University or ASU is fair game! You can find signs off of University or Apache and all over campus. Commemorating your alma mater in your photos is a must. Although you’ll probably never forget ASU, it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of your favorite school.
Prop tip: Any ASU regalia and memorabilia is perfect for a photo in front of an ASU sign. Wear your favorite ASU shirt, sport some Sparky the Sun Devil horns, get a foam fork or even throw up your own pitchforks.


It’s no secret that graduation time is chaotic. Worrying about your cap and gown, your family in town, your grad party and photos are enough to stress out any graduate. We’re here to make sure your walk across the stage is an easy one. Here are some tips to make your special day a little easier and more fun.

You want to look your best for graduation, so having a wrinkly gown and folds in your stoles isn’t going to help. Get your gown and stoles dry-cleaned so you don’t have to worry about ruining them with your questionable ironing skills.

Your graduation is most likely a big deal to your family, meaning everyone will be coming into town to attend. Dress in semi-formal clothing and try to look professional and mature. You’ll probably take a million pictures with various family members, and you want to give off a “star student” vibe, not a “C’s get degrees” one.

Fun fact, boys and girls: You will be in a sea of maroon and your entire family will probably have a hard time finding you, so live a little and make yourself stand out by decorating your cap. You’ll be a lot easier to spot during graduation, and it’s an opportunity to add a little personality to your regalia.

Ladies, the men have it easy with pants that have pockets. If your dress didn’t come with pockets, don’t fret! You can find phone garters on Amazon. These garters go under your dress on one of your legs and have a pocket for your phone. Just make sure you get a color that doesn’t show through your dress.

Graduation caps aren’t the most flattering attire. They’re pointy, ruin your hair and sometimes don’t stay on. Try folding down the front half of your cap and securing it with bobby pins to avoid ruining your hairdo. Or, if you’re crafty, glue a headband into your cap to really secure it in place.

The second graduation is over, everyone will be flooding around the building, causing mass chaos and disorientation for family and friends who want to find you ASAP. Before the ceremony starts, try picking a clear landmark to meet at afterwards. A statue, street sign or art installment are all good options.


There’s no way you’ve gone to ASU this long without a parking ticket or getting towed to a creepy lot in the middle of nowhere. Pay homage to all of your parking tickets from ASU by gluing them to your grad cap. You can simply make them cover the surface of the cap, or arrange them like a flower on top. Nothing says “ASU” quite like its terrible parking!

Make yourself stand out amongst your fellow graduates with some wire lights on your cap. You can buy copper wire lights at most craft stores, and some even come with cute designs like hearts or diamonds. Make sure they have a battery pack and hide it under your cap so they stay on the entire ceremony.

Make your cap reflect the true princess you are by adding a crown. Either add a plastic crown to the top of your cap or make a flower crown to go under your cap. Both will make you look like royalty.

Celebrate your favorite bar on Mill with some mementos from your nights out. Buckets, jell-o shot syringes, stickers and more can all be glued to your cap. You can even paint your cap to look like your favorite bar.

Make your cap resemble your favorite mascot, Sparky the Sun Devil! You can get normal or even glittery construction paper and cut out pieces to make your cap look like Sparky’s face. If you’re not the craftiest, you can settle with putting some Sparky horns on your cap, and maybe even throw in a pitchfork.


WTF is a Stole of Gratitude?
If you go to ASU, you’ve definitely seen the gold stole graduates wear with their caps and gowns. Maybe you’ve even purchased one and will be wearing it this May. But do you know the legend of the stole of gratitude? Everyone has a special person who has helped him or her through college, whether it is a parent, a family member, or a friend. They could have helped you financially, provided words of wisdom, encouragement, or supported you through your college career. The story goes (as told by the packaging of the stole) that the gold gratuity stole is an opportunity to say, “Thanks for helping me make it through, thanks for making it possible for me to succeed!” After the ceremony, the new graduate is supposed to present the stole to someone who has provided extraordinary support. Wearing multiple stoles means there are multiple people receiving the stole of gratitude, and new grads typically write a letter of appreciation on the back of the stole using a fine-tipped marker, or have friends and family sign the front or back of the stole. So when it comes time to graduate, think of someone special that deserves a stole of gratitude.


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