The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has created a special fund for graduating students who need assistance to purchase a cap and gown.
“With so much going on in the world right now, taking time to celebrate is essential,” said Samantha Wiley, director of annual giving. “For our students, that includes the ability to participate in commencement this spring. We want to help our students cover the cost of their cap, gown, and tassel this year so they can commemorate this milestone properly.”
The cost of a cap and gown for an undergraduate student is $55.57 and $100.26 for a graduate student.
The UA Little Rock Office of Alumni and Development is putting $1,000 from the UA Little Rock Annual Fund to aid in this effort. Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit the Cap and Gown Support webpage.
UA Little Rock employees can also make a donation through a one-time payroll deduction, which counts as a contribution to the All In Campus Campaign. Faculty and staff can submit referrals for students who need cap and gown assistance to the CARE Team.
The creation of the Cap and Gown Support Fund stemmed from an email from Janet Davis, finance director, who said she was disheartened after learning of students who could not afford to purchase a cap and gown for commencement.
“When I learned of the plight of a student who was cancelling their commencement appointment solely for financial reasons, I realized that there had to be others in the same situation that, as a campus, we are unaware of their reason for not attending commencement,” Davis said. “This truly weighed on my mind, knowing that we are a campus mixed with traditional, non-traditional, and first generation college students.”
Davis said she received many emails from faculty and staff who offered to buy a cap and gown for the students in need, and that the creation of the fund reinforces her belief that the UA Little Rock community loves its students from start to finish.
“My hope is that the awareness of the fund continues to grow and extends well beyond one commencement season,” she said.