Penn State's spring graduates don 'green' caps and gowns

May 11, 2010

University Park, Pa. – Penn State’s class of spring 2010 -- students receiving an estimated 588 associate, 10,241 baccalaureate, 1,182 master’s, 149 medical, 195 law and 215 doctoral degrees, 12,570 in total -- this month will be the first to wear environmentally friendly caps and gowns to commencement events.

The dark blue caps and gowns, a Penn State tradition, are now fashioned of fabric made from renewable, managed forests. Selecting gowns using eco-friendly material, proven to decompose in soil in one year, reflects another example of Penn State's ongoing commitment to sustainability efforts.

In addition, the estimated 12,570 Penn State diplomas to be given out University-wide, as well as spring commencement programs, are printed on paper stock that is Forest Stewardship Conservation (FSC) certified. FSC products promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. According to Stacy Ostrofsky, project coordinator for Penn State’s Multimedia and Print Center, FSC promotes and enhances paper manufacture that is harvested from well-managed forests and is environmentally responsible, socially acceptable and economically viable. In many places around the world logging is associated with habitat loss, displacement of indigenous tribes, water pollution and even violence against humans and wildlife, all of which is not acceptable by FSC standards.

Additional information about Penn State’s 40 spring commencement events can be found at and online.

Last Updated March 02, 2011