WestConn graduating class is ‘going green’

DANBURY, CONN. — This year’s graduating class just got a lot smarter. At this year’s May commencement, WCSU graduates will wear “green” caps and gowns made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

This new line of graduation wear, named GreenWeaver, is manufactured by Oak Hall Cap & Gown. The garments are made of fabric spun from molten plastic pellets and it takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown. Based on WestConn sales, this will prevent approximately 17,000 plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill. According to the manufacturer, the gowns are soft and virtually indistinguishable from the traditional polyester used to make most graduation wear.

“When WestConn was offered the opportunity to provide environmentally friendly gowns this year to our graduates, we could not pass up the opportunity,” said Tammy Hammershoy, WCSU director of Alumni Relations. “It supports the green efforts of the university and allows students, who are usually very aware of the environment and the planet’s vastly diminishing resources, to be part of a solution. We are proud to be the first state university to have signed an agreement with Oak Hall to use these gowns made of 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.”

And what’s even smarter about purchasing the new regalia is that for each cap and gown purchased, Oak Hall will make a contribution to a campus environmental group.

“At WestConn, the contributions will be designated to Roots & Shoots, which has a wonderful reputation of supporting environmental awareness,” Hammershoy said. Founded by Jane Goodall, Roots and Shoots is a program that promotes positive environmental change.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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