Written by
Photography by Matt Banderas ’04

The internet buzzes with stories, tips and photos about decorating mortarboards for graduation. Some of Whitman's 374 walking and 346 graduating seniors from the class of 2017 showcased their handiwork and the inspiration behind it before Commencement last Sunday.

"I wanted a pun on a metamorphic rock. The sparkly circles on the borders could suggest minerals. I planned everything out with my mom. She sent me the materials." —Gabby McGann, biology and geology

"I was going for cheerful, happy, pretty." —Emily Volpert, sociology, class banner designer

"I'm heading home to San Francisco and I made these cutouts to represent my city." —Zach Hartzell, psychology

"I wanted to thank my mom and dad in English and Chinese. And I really appreciate my host parents." —Wenjun Gao, sociology

"I went to the dollar store to find this plastic duck. I wanted something bird-related that reflects my biology major." —Joe Stewart, biology

"I just love glitter!" —Sara Friedberg, geology

"It's a quote from The West Wing, my favorite show. I wanted to convey an optimistic outlook for the future." —Delaney Hanson, history and music (performance)

"I played on the ultimate Frisbee team!"—Margo Heffron, economics and environmental studies

"My ultimate Frisbee team has been part of my college family." —Nina Finley, biology and environmental studies

"This is a Mark Twain quote I like from high school. And, yes, I do dance, modern and Latin." —Ye He, economics

"The elephant is my favorite animal. It took me about an hour to make. I traced the pattern first." —Chelsi Brewer, economics and mathematics