In a sea of black, green and gold; several graduates stood out above the rest Saturday at the 125th Tiffin University commencement ceremony.
The academic attire worn by the graduates dictates the school and field of study. Caps and gowns have been used in America since colonial times.
Several graduates chose to decorate their mortar-bard cap for different reasons.
Jasmine Johnson, of Toledo, earned her bachelor's of criminal justice degree. She decorated her cap to honor her sorority, Gamma Chi Alpha. She used the sororities colors pink, gray and white.
Johnson said she was happy to graduate Saturday: "I have been waiting a while."
Graduate Madeline Kane, of Lake Peekskill, N.Y., also is a member of the Gamma Chi Alpha Sorority.
"It's (been) exciting," she said. "It's nervewracking to think where I go from here."
Kane earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice in forensic psychology. She said she hopes to pursue a career as a criminal analyst.
The cap Kane designed is to honor her sorority and lacrosse. Her team made the semifinals and was getting ready to leave for a game right after the ceremony.
Each cap represented a personal touch from the graduate. Natalie Verba, of Parma Heights, embellished her cap with her favorite character, Eeyore the donkey from "Winnie-the-Pooh." Verba earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
The cap belonging to Kelly Mayer, of Troy, included pieces describing her patriotism with an Eagle and the American flag and the quote "the Flag stands for freedom and they can't take that away." She also represented her degree in criminal justice.
"As a terrorism and homeland security major, I wanted to represent America and criminal justice," Mayer said.
Mayer also was awarded the dean's award for completing 50 percent of her degree requirements with a 4.0.
"Its bittersweet," she said. "I was nervous, but now I am excited for the future."
A pink, and zebra stripped TU dragon was designed by Savannah Harner as a way to let her parents know where she was in the crowd.
Harner, from Kansas, earned a bachelor's of business administration degree in accounting and computer information systems. She said she is just excited to be done and is looking forward to getting a job.
Tiffin native Maureen Kurtz, created her cap with photos of friends that she had made over the years. Kurtz earned a bachelor's of business administration in accounting and finance.
"It is relieving being done," Kurtz said. "I've been ready!"