- Most graduations occur in May and June, but some are as early as mid-April or as late as the first week in July. Mid-year college commencement ceremonies are typically in December.
- Industry-wide, about 74 million graduation cards are given annually.
- For the 2012-13 school year, about 3.2 million students are expected to graduate from high school. Colleges and universities are expected to award 699,000 associate degrees; 1.5 million bachelor’s degrees; 556,000 master’s degrees; 96,000 first-professional degrees; and 47,000 doctorates. In each category, the majority of these graduates are women. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics’ “Projections of Education Statistics to 2013”)
- In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education reported that the high school graduation rate for 2010 was at the highest it had been since 1974.
- Money is the most popular graduation gift (Source: National Retail Federation), and money-holder/gift card-holder cards are top sellers for Hallmark.
- Increasingly, graduates give thank-you cards and gifts to parents and teachers to express appreciation for guidance and support during their years of education.
- Hallmark has been producing graduation cards since the 1920s.
2013 Product Features
- Hallmark offers more than 460 graduation card designs – most featuring the graduation year – and include cards for:
- Professions (nurse, law, medical doctor, pharmacist, veterinarian, dentist).
- Post-graduate degrees (doctorate, master's and MBA).
- High school and college.
- Pre-school, kindergarten, grade school, middle school and junior high.
- Teachers, coaches, grad-to-grad and parents of the graduate.
- The cards range from serious, complimentary, success-oriented and inspirational to humorous. High school and college cards tend to focus on accomplishments and good wishes for the future.
- Card prices start at 99 cents.
- Cards With Technology include eight cards with motion and sound, focused on the humorous and celebratory tones of the occasion.
- Eight new designs from Hallmark Signature Collection meet the needs of the consumer who prefers cards with fresh, sophisticated designs and concise, relevant messages. It offers distinctive ways to celebrate a special graduate's day...with style.
- Other new graduation cards include six Life is good® designs and 12 winning designs created by consumers in the "Graduation Celebration!" greeting card contest.
- Hallmark Mahogany offers 29 cards for African-American graduates from preschool to college, including money/gift-card holders, sorority and fraternity cards, and one card for graduates of historically black colleges and universities.
- Hallmark Sinceramente offers 38 Spanish-language graduation cards for Hispanic consumers. The line includes teacher appreciation and money holder cards, which also are compatible with gift cards.
- Several graduation cards incorporate Star Wars™, Peanuts® and Disney characters.
- Hallmark.com offers graduation cards that consumers can customize by adding personal messages and/or photos. Hallmark.com provides card options appropriate for preschool graduation up to college graduation. After consumers customize their graduation card, Hallmark.com will address, stamp and mail them to the recipient.
- To make sure graduates are recognized, Hallmark offers a free service that helps a group of people "shower" the graduate with a mailbox full of congratulations and well wishes. Through Card Showers from Hallmark at Hallmark.com, people can easily set up the shower, invite people to participate and monitor the card-sending.
Celebrations & Gifts
- Many people celebrate graduations by announcing the accomplishment to friends and family and by hosting parties. Hallmark.com features customizable graduation party announcements, invitations, party plates, and thank-you notes for the many gifts graduates receive.
- To celebrate and remember the big day, Hallmark offers a variety of gifts and memory-keeping products:
- The new Pics 'n' Props Graduation Celebration Kit for $29.95 with a variety of cut-out props, including a fake mustache and oversize sunglasses, plastic rods to hold them up and a photo album for 4" x 6" photos.
- Graduation 2013 Bookbound Album with 50 designed pages for $9.95 with each purchase of three Hallmark cards at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores.
- Graduation Piggy Bank Gift Card Holder for $5.95.
- Three plush money or gift-card holders: Team Cool Snoopy™, Grad Bear and Moo-Lah cow.
- A new Graduation Hat Card Keeper doubles as a card drop and décor piece. Available for $9.95 with any purchase at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.
- Graduation 2013 Flip-Flops send the graduate out into the world in style for $9.95 with any purchase at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.
- Collect autographs and sentiments from friends and family with the Autograph Dog, Autograph Monkey (also available in jumbo size), autograph book or a new Guest Book Puzzle.
- Picture frames, including a tassel and photo frame, a frame with space for signatures and well wishes, a personalized caption frame and a 2013 dated frame.
- Other commemorative items include items a tassel holder, Graduate Hallmark Keepsake Ornament, sound buttons, ceramic mugs, insulated travel mug, magnets, paperweights, key chains and a Graduation Instant Scrapbook.
- Peanuts® and Star Wars™ are among the many themed gifts available to give graduates.
- Hallmark.com offers 12 graduation designs of nine-inch dinner plates to which consumers can add their own photos and personal messages.
- Hallmark Gift Books make perfect presents for the graduate or for a special teacher who made a difference. A new book, She's Graduating! Advice and Wisdom for Female Graduates, joins three Hallmark bestsellers: Congrats, Grad!, Wear Sunscreen and College Survival Guide: Tips, Tricks and a Little Financial Aid, to help graduates build excitement and prepare for their freshman year.
- Hallmark also offers 2013 graduation gift wrap and gift bags, graduation party supplies and graduation stickers. The gift wrap collection includes unique ways to wrap up gifts of money or gift cards. Two small bags with tissue and trim are ideal ways to add pizazz to a gift card presentation. Consumers can showcase the year of the graduating class with gift bags, gift wrap and even wrapping tissue. Designs are appropriate for high school and college graduations.
- Hallmark Party offers a new gift box that consumers can display at parties. It can be an ideal place for guests to place cards or small gifts. A 2013 Graduation Stars and Stripes pattern lends a festive touch to graduation gatherings.
- Today's graduation ceremony is the modern equivalent of the ancient rite of passage from youth into adulthood celebrated in many tribes and clans. Commencement is the contemporary way to acknowledge that an important milestone has been passed.
- Early degree ceremonies took place in the mid-12th century at the University of Bologna, and soon after, at Paris, Oxford and Cambridge. Harvard was the first American college to hold a commencement ceremony in 1642.
- Graduation gowns reflect the general manner of dress in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period. Many are black, although the gowns used in many high school ceremonies reflect school colors. The sleeves of a collegiate graduation gown indicate the level of a graduate's degree.
- The four-sided graduation cap first appeared in the 16th century in Scotland. It originally was known as a "trencher" cap because it looked like an inverted serving board – a trencher – with a bowl on it. The term "mortarboard" developed in the 19th century.
- High-school graduates in the United States began wearing the now traditional commencement cap and gown in 1908.
Available at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide and wherever Hallmark products are sold. Use the store locator on Hallmark.com to find the nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store.