Ideas for a College Graduation Party

A college graduation is a milestone that should be celebrated!  The challenges faced and obstacles overcome by the graduate have finally given way to a hard-earned diploma and a new beginning, and now it’s time to throw a graduation party!

Planning a graduation party doesn’t need to be stressful – just start planning the party two months in advance to make sure you have a successful party without the stress.  And if you’re looking for ideas for a graduation party, you’ve come to the right place!

LoveToKnow.com shares some very helpful college graduation party ideas that will help you get the ball rolling.

College Graduation Party Ideas

The right college graduation party ideas can turn an already momentous commencement affair into a wonderful celebration to congratulate the successful graduate.

College is Different from High School

While high school graduation parties are often more casual affairs that can celebrate the accomplishments of several graduates at once, college graduation parties are usually more reserved and specialized for a single graduate. Many times, friends drift apart as they attend different colleges, and graduation dates – even years – may vary widely for close friends. Furthermore, because college graduates are older and now face a professional future after their student years, their graduation celebrations tend to be more mature and formal. That does not mean that college graduation parties need to be boring or predictable, however.

College Graduation Party Themes

The easiest way to add flair to a college graduation party is with an appropriate theme. Popular college graduation party ideas include:

  • Alma Mater: College graduates are typically less attached to their graduation year than they are to the school they’re graduating from. A party themed around that school can emphasis their accomplishments in a powerful and meaningful way. Many college campuses even have halls and banquet rooms available to rent, allowing graduation parties to take place at the heart of the graduate’s educational institution.
  • Careers: Graduates spend years preparing themselves for a professional future, whether they plan to be a doctor, teacher, engineer, artist, scientist, or one of thousands of other choices. A party themed to celebrate her career choice is a meaningful way to salute the graduate’s accomplishments and send her on the way to that professional future.
  • Housewarming: Many graduates spend the first few weeks after graduation finding a new house or apartment, and housewarming party ideas can be a fun way to incorporate two adult milestones into one extra special occasion.
  • Reunions: A family reunion to celebrate a graduate’s commencement is a superb way to surround him with support and congratulations. Another reunion twist is to arrange a party with his old high school friends, some of whom he may not have seen since high school graduation.
  • Vacations: The last year of a college education is often the most stressful and may be filled with internships, thesis projects, job fairs, certification exams, and other difficult challenges. Instead of a formal party, some graduates may appreciate a vacation getaway – a weekend trip, cruise, or other outing – to relax and celebrate in a more lighthearted way before buckling down to a new job.

More College Graduation Party Ideas

While a theme can help bring a graduation party together, college graduation parties don’t necessarily need a theme to be fun celebrations. The most important theme of all is to celebrate, honor, and congratulate the graduate, and there are many graduation party ideas that can do just that.

Decorations

Typical graduation party decorations such as mortar boards, faux diplomas, school colors, and the graduation year are good staples for any college graduation party. Personalize the decorations with alumni paraphernalia, mementos from the high school graduation, and accents themed to the graduate’s career for a more individualized atmosphere. Other options include displaying parents’ and siblings’ degrees as well to show the family history, or to add the graduate’s other honors such as athletic awards or honor societies to the decorations.

Guests

Family members and friends should be first on the guest list, and do not forget to invite the graduate’s roommates and college friends. If she will be entering a professional career, invite local professionals with a family connection to that same career for networking and professional support. High school teachers, college professors and advisors, and neighbors can round out the guest list.

Refreshments

Food at a college graduation party is usually more refined than the pizza and soda of a high school party. Hors d’oeuvres and finger foods are good choices for a casual event, or full catering can be arranged for a more formal dinner party. Cocktails (including non-alcoholic variations) are appreciated and a champagne toast to the new graduate is a memorable touch.

Activities

There are very few graduation party games or activities at college graduation parties. Mingling and sharing college stories is the norm, and the graduate may prefer some networking to arrange contacts for his new career. A guest book or advice book for guests to comment in is a nice activity that can be a useful gift as well.

Gifts

Most college students graduate with tremendous student loan debt, and while money is the preferred gift for a new graduate, no mention of gifts should be made in graduation invitations or at the party itself. Guests who do wish to give a gift can’t go wrong with professional gifts, such as a new briefcase, business cards, or specialized equipment graduates may need in their new careers. Parents may want to give graduates a new house key, letting them know that even though they are on their own in the adult world now, they’re always welcome to come home.Choosing the right college graduation party ideas can make this celebration more than a congratulatory event. Whether it is a reunion party, a networking opportunity, or just a relaxing getaway, the graduate will appreciate the thoughts and effort that make graduation a memorable event.

Choosing a graduation party venue is a key step in planning a successful college graduation celebration.  For an elegant yet casual atmosphere, Ceres Bistro in Worcester is the perfect location for a college graduation party.

We can host college graduation parties on our heated outdoor patio, in our intimate wine room, in our Executive Boardroom or in our hotel banquet rooms.  Conveniently located near several Worcester MA area colleges, Ceres Bistro and the Beechwood Hotel is the perfect graduation party venue.

For more information on holding your college graduate’s party at Ceres and the Beechwood, contact Jocelyn Baumann at 508-453-1111or jbaumann@beechwoodhotel.com.  We can’t wait to celebrate your college graduate’s accomplishments with a flawlessly hosted graduation party!