Valcourt: The controversial new graduation gowns

Rowan's new graduation gowns for 2023. - Photo via Rowan University.

Okay, I’ll say it, I love the new graduation gowns and I love the history they represent.
I’m a huge Rowan fan. I transferred here hoping to find a more welcoming and accepting university. That’s exactly what I found. While it still has its share of problems, this campus feels a lot more like home than my previous school. That’s why I am not only proud but excited to wear its colors as I walk across the graduation stage.

For those who might not yet know why the gowns were changed this year, the university designed new gowns to celebrate Rowan’s centennial. It’s been 100 years since Rowan, then Glassboro State College opened its doors and began educating. In those years, Rowan has been able to expand the campus being nearly unrecognizable to early classes. They’ve been able to broaden their course catalog and degree program options.

I know it’s a bit of a hot take. My friends and I have fought about this relentlessly since the new gowns were revealed. Many seniors hate the fun, spirit-filled regalia and long yearn for the depressing, heat-ridden black gown. They complain that the new brown will clash with their fashion choices but, in fact, the brown and gold will go with all neutral tones such as cream, tan, black and olive.

Rowan has become more than a school; it’s a home for thousands of students. It’s rich with history, education and success and that’s why I am so excited to dawn the new gowns.

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