While it was unknown whether the Class of 2018 would be receiving commencement hoods as part of their undergraduate regalia this year due to tradition and budget restraints, it’s now official. Seniors picked up their caps, gowns and hoods at last week’s Commencement Fair in the student center. 

KSC is the only college in the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) to include hoods in the graduate regalia. In a previous article by The Equinox titled, “Graduation tradition may come to an end,” KSC Coordinator of College Ceremonies and Events Rebecca Dixon said there had been conversations about getting rid of the hoods this year in order to bring KSC more in line with our sister institutions. The University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State University students don’t wear hoods at their events. 

However, in a meeting with the senior class executive board, KSC President Melinda Treadwell said she discovered a large portion of the senior class was sad at the thought of not receiving them at graduation, and this prompted Treadwell to search for the money to fund them for this year’s class. In conversations with Vice President for Finance and Administration Susan LaPanne, Treadwell said she was able to reduce her personal budget and “tighten up” a few other things to make getting the hoods possible. 

The total cost of regalia is $35,000, and the cost of hoods totalled about $23,000, according to Treadwell. After a discount from the KSC bookstore, Barnes & Noble, the cost was $15,000 for the hoods. 

“I’m so grateful for the senior class being honest with me, the [executive] board, about the fact that there was probably half the class that was feeling really tragically sad about this. There hadn’t been a conversation about why we do this and why we wouldn’t, so we need time for that and it’s worth me doing everything I can to make sure we give the time for that conversation before we change a major tradition,” Treadwell said. 

The senior class offered to push back leftover money from their account at the end of the academic year, if they have any, to contribute to the costs, Treadwell said. 

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at jricard@kscequinox.com