While some graduating students at Notre Dame wear cords around their necks or decorate their graduation caps, the graduating architecture students have a tradition of adorning their pegboard caps with miniature buildings.
Marty Burns, a graduating architecture student, says students usually build structures with personal meaning. For instance, some students build their house, their favorite skyscraper or a building from the city where they will be living next year. These projects typically involve a variety of materials.
“It’s a way to represent the fact that our whole time here has been dominated by buildings. It’s kind of a physical manifestation of what our time here was because architecture is really time-consuming,” he says. “It’s a way for you to display where you’re going, what matters to you in your past.”
While the architecture students start thinking about their graduation caps now, they usually do not start working on their projects until after their thesis projects are over, which tends to be the week before graduation. Burns said he would not be surprised if students pulled all-nighters to complete the models.
“It’s definitely a squeeze at the end, but that’s the type of thing we’re used to,” Burns says.
Burns is currently unsure which structure he will build on his graduation cap, but he is considering modeling his favorite building or working with several other students to build a collaborative project.