Professor donates graduation gowns to alleviate financial burden for students

November 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Graduation caps and gowns are an integral aspect of the traditional graduation process. However, for some students, purchasing a cap and gown can be a financial burden that impacts their ability to attend commencement. Now, thanks to a Penn State faculty member, students in need have an option to eliminate that financial obstacle.

Lisa Kopp, professor of human development and family studies, purchased and donated four sets of graduation caps and gowns to help students in financial need.

“Students who have stretched and sacrificed to be able to pursue their degree shouldn't have to miss out on celebrating their accomplishment. It seemed like such an easy problem to solve,” Kopp said.

Penn State’s Student Care and Advocacy Office will store the gowns and take point on distributing them to students in need. Housed in Boucke Building, Student Care and Advocacy is a centralized resource for students who experience unforeseen challenges that may affect their academic work, including family deaths, medical emergencies, housing or food insecurity, mental health concerns or other challenges.

“This is such a feel-good story! Last semester, students came to us asking for help covering the cost of graduation gowns so we put a call out to Penn State faculty and staff to see if anyone had a gown to lend. We received a couple loaner gowns and many offered to donate money to cover the cost of new ones,” said Anna Barone, director of the Student Care and Advocacy Office. “Dr. Kopp offered to buy four new gowns to have available to use for many graduations to come. We are honored to hold them here in our office and encourage anyone who knows of someone in need to reach out and get connected.”

The Center for Student Care and Advocacy, a unit of Student Affairs, is located in 120 Boucke Building and is available to all Penn State students. Students in need of support can email or call the office at 814-863-2020 for assistance. To learn more about the services available, visit the Student Care and Advocacy website.

Last Updated November 13, 2019