Celebrate a graduate’s accomplishment with a unique gift from the heart (Gainesville Sun, Thursday, May 3, 2012)

Graduation gets a coveted spot in the “important files” section of yourmemory.

The day you receive your diploma is archived along with other milestone events, like the first time at the “grown up” table at a family gathering, the day you file your first tax return, and your wedding day.

The date is a celebration of accomplishment, or at the very least a moment of closure, for students.

It is a tradition for families who can revel at their shining scholar in a cap and gown.

So what kind of a gift can say all that?

Here’s a short list of gift ideas for the soon-to-be graduate.

Diploma frames
A diploma is that physical token that reminds people how smart you’ve been, which is why the most popular gift for grads is a frame.

Thornebrook Gallery and the Florida Bookstore offer in-store consultations for diploma framing, which on average can cost around $150.

You can customize the diploma by choosing matting and a varied selection of wooden frames to make it as significant or minimal as you wish.

Thornebrook also specializes in shadowbox collages that incorporate photos, tassels, and other memorabilia with the diploma.

Jewelry
Jewelry pieces from local artisans like Peter Senesac, whose carved metal gator heads (starting at $75), can be a unique collector’s item for collegiate graduates, or Jeanne Bunting’s “UPcycled jewelry”, a vintage collection of Swarovski crystal necklaces and bracelets combined with one-of-a-kind details.

Both artists are featured at the Artisans’ Guild Gallery downtown.

Persona Vintage Clothing and Costumes offers a retro collection of pendants and brooches that can please the alternative grad from a reasonably-priced $40 to a larger investment of $200.

For pearls, gold, and silver, Thornebrook Gallery offers an upscale selection of classic and school-spirit fine jewelry, as well as embellished pens and knives for the guys.

Local art
Giving a grad something that will remind them of their time in Gainesville can be a special gift.
The Artisans’ Guild Gallery offers no-frame photographs of locations like Ginnie Springs and Payne’s Prairie that can become a home-décor piece or office detail.

Thornebrook Gallery offers Margaret Ross Tolbert’s paintings of Florida springs, which are now also featured at Orlando International Airport.

Flowers
Gainesville Floral Exchange has endless combinations of flowers to make arrangements for graduation.

Orange lilies, blue irises, delphinium, roses and daisies are popular spring floral choices.

Choosing flowers as a complement to a gift shows thought and makes for great post-walk pictures.

Arrangements range from $60 to $100.

More books
You would think that the last thing a graduate would want would be more books.

But books always make great personal gifts, especially if you know the graduate’s literary taste.

Barnes & Noble has a selection of graduation-themed books, specialty journals and calendars.

Some recommendations for high school grads:

  • “Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Socializing, Studying, and Everything in Between” by Nora Bradbury Haehl and Bill McGarvey
  • “The Debt-Free Graduate: How to Survive College Without Going Broke” by Murray Baker
  • and “101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles” by Toni Patrich.

Alumni gear

Make the alumni title official with pens, mugs, and T-shirts.

UF Bookstore is the place to go for anything orange and blue with the word “alumni” on it.

If you want to get fancy, Herff Jones is a provider of specialty collegiate rings.

You can order an official “Gator Wrap” ring at the Florida Bookstore, starting at $485, which can be customized for each college in the class of 2012.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120503/ARTICLES/120509884?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar

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