Four years of hard work interrupted by a pandemic means this college graduation season is no time to skimp on gifts.
This commencement season, stray from a simple, stereotypical graduation gift and reach for something you could only buy for a graduate of GW’s Class of 2023.
GW, which is in the process of choosing a new moniker to replace the Colonials, gives you a small array of inspired nicknames to draw gift ideas from. There are four options — Ambassadors, Blue Fog, Revolutionaries and Sentinels. Choose a gift for your graduate based on their favorite moniker option as a final #OnlyatGW Moment.
Ambassadors: SnackCrate’s Around the World Snacks ($5 to $20)
If your favorite graduate spent most of their two-and-a-half years’ in-person experience at college perfecting their status as a hard-working academic in the Elliott School, why don’t you reach for a gift to reflect their international ambitions?
In considering a gift for them, reach for a subscription to SnackCrate, a monthly box full of snacks from around the world. You can choose the country for the first box, perhaps pulling from their concentrated area of study, like the Middle East or Latin America. These monthly blue boxes may provide culinary knowledge of the region by introducing their recipients to the food of the areas.
In the past, SnackCrate has featured snacks from the Americas, Europe and Asia. With about ten snacks per box, treats vary based on the country, including Turkey’s chocolate-coated crisp candy bar and hard, coffee-flavored candies from Colombia. Even if your aspiring ambassador never leaves the United States, their taste buds can mingle with culinary confections from all around the world.
Blue Fog: Tasting Kit from Founding Farmers ($59.99)
The Blue Fog moniker option is a combination of ideas from the administration and graduating senior Olivia Curran. Curran developed the “Fog” idea, and the University, for reasons unknown, added the “Blue.” Blue Fog alludes to the University’s Foggy Bottom location and the Battle of Long Island, during which a cloud of fog rolled in to allow George Washington’s Continental Army to row safely to Manhattan to escape the British army.
If your graduate likes this option, they must have great pride in the historic and local significance of the University — or they just like chaos. In considering a graduation gift, get them an assortment of alcoholic beverages in a Founding Spirits’ Tasting Kit from popular Foggy Bottom restaurant Founding Farmers.
Though Founding Farmers has expanded around D.C. as well as surrounding states, they opened their first restaurant in 2008 on Pennsylvania Avenue in Foggy Bottom. Their Tasting Kit has miniature glass bottles of locally distilled gin, vodka, bourbon and American amaro. Each bottle contains a half pint of its respective liquor. After a night spent with these locally made liquors, your graduate is sure to end up at the bottom of their apartment with a foggy memory.
Revolutionaries: George Washington’s Revolutionary Presidential Poster ($12.95)
Does your special graduate prefer a name with a strong historical connection? David Silverman, a professor of history, argued Revolutionaries is the most historically accurate option, true to George Washington’s legacy as the leader of the Continental Army.
Reach for a gift that reflects George Washington’s revolutionary legacy, like a poster showing the founding father and the thirteen colonies he led to statehood. A crisp cardstock print, this poster comes from an exhibit at the Library of Congress about Amos Doolittle, a printer who commercialized Washington’s image following his 1788 campaign for president. In the poster, Washington’s head and shoulders rest in the middle, surrounded by seals for each of the 13 colonies he led to statehood.
The poster is one of the first American presidential political prints, transforming political communication in the United States. In addition to being a great graduation gift, it will serve as a kitschy piece of decor for any postgraduate apartment.
Sentinels: A Rat Stuffed Animal ($24.99)
If your graduate is intelligent enough to know what a “sentinel” is without using the internet, they deserve to graduate summa cum laude. For those of us who needed to do some extra research, sentinels are soldiers who are supposed to keep watch. Though anyone who watches over something can be a sentinel, usually sentinels are on guard for a surprise attack.
As a GW student, your graduate surely knows a few things about a surprise attack. Though the threat of a professor’s pop quiz or the chance of an arriving presidential motorcade looms over GW students’ days, there is one small, furry creature on the Foggy Bottom campus for which students must always keep a watchful eye out — rats.
Whether coming back late from a night out on the town or while on a power walk to an 8 a.m. class, almost every GW student has encountered the rats. To commemorate the creature for which they are sentinels, adopt a rat stuffed animal for your graduate. Though it may cause an initial jumpscare with its big, black eyes and crouched stature, your graduate will surely warm up to the stuffed creature, finding its soft fur enticing and comforting. Each time they look at it, they will remember the days spent keeping a keen eye out for the rats, like a sentinel.
This article appeared in the May 15, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.