Purple Pride: Commencement gowns are high fashion

What do U.S. Supreme Court justices and thousands of San Francisco State University grads have in common? On Commencement, everyone’s wearing robes made by the same company.

SF State graduates in their purple caps and gowns Setting SF State's grads apart from judges on the high court are their purple caps and gowns, custom-made by Indianapolis-based Herff Jones. The company sells more than $200 million worth of academic and judicial regalia, as well as honorary awards in the United States and Canada every year.

Today’s Supreme Court justices wear traditional black robes, which can come fitted by Herff Jones. Universities also typically order the company’s basic black gowns for their graduates.

SF State rents gowns to grads. Once returned, they are restored and recycled for the next class of graduates, saving more than 40,000 gowns from the landfill over 10 years.

Caps and gowns are available for rent starting today at the SFSU Bookstore; graduates can keep their cap and tassel. Five tickets to the Commencement ceremony are also issued at time of rental.

For more information about SF State’s 113th Commencement ceremonies, Friday, May 23 for graduate students and Saturday, May 24 for undergraduates, please visit: http://commencement.sfsu.edu/

-- University Communications