Seniors browse gowns, giveaways at Grad Expo

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Kansas State seniors on track to graduate this December visited the Alumni Center on Tuesday for the biannual Grad Expo.

“It’s kind of a one-stop shop,” said Krista Darting, associate director of membership and marketing with the K-State Alumni Association. “We let them get everything they might need for graduation and post-graduation.”

Yearly attendance is in the thousands, Darting said.

“Obviously fall is a smaller graduation, so we do a one-day expo for fall,” Darting said. “We do a two-day expo for spring.”

Giveaways included one $100 gift card and a diploma frame.

Rachael Mirth, senior in social sciences, said she enjoyed free headshots at the expo, taking a photo in professional dress and one in her cap and gown.

Darting said a cap and gown combo cost about $45 to $75, depending on the requirements for the level of degree obtained.

“The most utilized service is for sure caps and gowns, because that’s obviously something everyone has to get,” Darting said.

Mirth said she is trying to save some on costs associated with graduation by reusing what she already has.

“This cap and gown is actually from my associate’s degree,” Mirth said. “We compared them and they’re pretty similar. This one’s just a little bit more shiny.”

Mirth said she plans to also cut costs by using an alternative printing service for her announcements.

“Instead of the announcements, I’m going to go through Shutterfly, because it’s cheaper,” she said. “And then I found some diploma frames on Amazon.”

Joseph Dongoski, senior in electrical engineering, said he wished free shipping for items sold at the expo could be extended for students and for the expo hours to be extended outside of regular class hours.

“Not everybody always has a chance to get everything right at the exact moment that the expo is going,” Dongoski said. “I know I’m going to be buying the cap, gown and tassel. Other than that, I’m not sure what else I’ll be purchasing.”

Mirth said vendors inspired her to think of K-State mementos she might carry with her after graduation, and she encourages others to attend the expo even if they are exploring alternative options so that they can learn more about the Alumni Association, athletics and other resources at the event.

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