Gifts for the graduating gator

Congratulate this year's graduate by treating them to a gift with a gator connection. Choose from the following ideas, brought to you by talented SF State alumni and faculty.

A photo of the DVD cover for the movie

Oscar-nominated movies

Treat movie-lovers to a nail-biting thriller with "Argo," now available on DVD. Ethan Van der Ryn (B.A., '85) received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing for this drama about a little-known chapter of the Iranian hostage crisis. Also out on DVD is "Life of Pi," Ang Lee's 3-D adaptation of a popular novel about a boy stranded at sea on a small lifeboat. For his work on the movie, David Gropman (B.A., '74) received an Oscar nomination for Best Production Design.



A photo of a woman modeling a suit and tie from the clothing shop Tomboy Tailors

A woman modeling a suit and tie from the clothing shop Tomboy Tailors

From formalwear to street fashion

Pick up a gift that will help graduates step out in style. Alum Zel Anders' (attended '82–'87) newly opened clothing shop, Tomboy Tailorsspecializes in suits for women who want to don tailored menswear. Anders' shop offers made-to-measure suits inspired by the tailoring of men's suits, and also sells pocket squares, hats, suspenders and shoes. FAZE Apparel is another new addition to the San Francisco fashion scene. Alum Johnny Travis (B.S., '07) opened this Mission District store and art gallery, which sells boldly decorated T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, baseball caps and beanies.




Poetry and books

A photo of the Book jacket for " This gripping account of the first African American Major League Baseball player was written by late History Professor Jules Tygiel.

For poetry fans, choose "Postmodern American Poetry." First published 19 years ago and recently revamped by Professor of Creative Writing Paul Hoover, this anthology of more than 500 poems includes explanatory notes that make postmodern poetry accessible to those who are new to the genre.

Book jacket for

With a mix of wit and sorrow, "Birds of Paradise Lost" tells the stories of immigrants who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their dreams and struggles unfold in this book of thirteen short stories from award-winning author and journalist Andrew Lam (attended '89-'91).

In "Married at Fourteen: A True Story," alumna Lucille Lang Day (M.A., '99; M.F.A., '04) chronicles her transformation from teenage rebel to the holder of four advanced degrees. Her memoir serves as a reminder that it is never too late to chart a new course. Deciding on one's path in life is also a theme in "A River Closely Watched," a dark tale about a boy born into a dysfunctional family in rural New England and his struggle to save his own soul. This debut novel from alum Jon Boilard (B.A., '90; M.F.A., '95) has been nominated for a Northern California Book Award.

Graduates who are considering life's big questions will enjoy "An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth." In his latest book, Professor of Philosophy Jacob Needleman recounts how a childhood friendship with a boy suffering from terminal leukemia led him to contemplate the meaning of life, death and the universe.


Album cover for

Gator tunes

For blues rock fans, pick up a copy of "Small Fires," the new album by The Stone Foxes, whose members all graduated from SF State. NPR describes the band as having "an energetic style that's rooted in swampy, foot-stomping blues rock." Alumni talent can also be heard in "Radio Tragedy," the latest album from Tea Leaf Green. This rock quartet formed at SF State and their seventh studio recording features psychedelic, improv and pop rock.


Alumni Association
Give graduates an Alumni Association membership and they will enjoy lifelong benefits including Library and Career Center access, discounted medical benefits and opportunities to reconnect with fellow gators.

For other gator gift ideas, visit previous listings at: Gator Gifts 2012 and Gator Gifts 2011


--Elaine Bible