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    Black Robes will be Green: Pacific Introduces Recycled Graduation Vestments

    Apr 21, 2011

    During this year's Commencement, about 1,200 of Pacific's students will make a statement about the environment and their commitment to sustainability. They will be wearing gowns made completely out of recycled plastic bottles. The ceremony also will have other green elements.

    Each gown is made out of 23 bottles, according to officials at Oak Hall Cap & Gown, the manufacturers of the student regalia. The cost of each gown varies, depending on students needs, but range from $66.98 for an undergraduate to $85.98 for a doctoral student. There will be no additional deposit collected because the students will be able to recycle them immediately after their graduation. Special recycle bins for the robes will be placed around the Stockton campus for the caps and gowns.

    "Our students have been very active in efforts that promote sustainability and an environmentally sustainable University," said Provost Maria Palavicini. "The look and feel of the gowns to be worn on graduation day are nearly identical to those worn in the past. We are proud that our students are carrying their passion forward as they enter the next stages of their lives."

    This won't be the only "green" change to the annual ceremony. All the programs will be printed on recycled paper, extra recycle bins will be set up around campus for students and guests to use, and individuals will be on hand that day to make sure that any waste produced by the event will be recycled will be properly sorted. Representatives from the San Joaquin Conservation Corps will roam the campus May 7 to make sure that trash is being sorted properly for recycling, thus reducing the environmental footprint of graduation on San Joaquin County's landfill.

    The Commencement weekend will start at 4 p.m. Friday, May 6 with the Interfaith Baccalaureate Service in Morris Chapel. Immediately after the Baccalaureate a reception will be held for graduating students and their families.

    The University Commencement will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7 in the Alex G. Spanos Center. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, will give the commencement address. That ceremony will be followed by separate Diploma and Hooding Ceremonies for College of the Pacific, Eberhardt School of Business, Benerd School of Education, the School of International Studies, the Conservatory of Music and the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Start times and locations for these events are unique to each school. Ceremonies for Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will be held May 14. Graduation for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry will be held June 12.

    For more information about commencement including the start times of each Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, visit http://www2.pacific.edu/commencement/.