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  • 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 59 million graduation cards are given annually.
  • 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.

2017 Product Features

Greeting Cards

  • Hallmark offers more than 500 graduation card designs - many 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.
  • In addition to graduation, cards are also available that recognize certifications, achievements and completions.
  • Card prices start at 99 cents.
  • The Carolina Hernandez Family Collection reflects the writer's heartfelt belief that an eduction is the most valuable gift a person can have...and the love of family provides inspiration along the way. 
  • Inspirational songs are featured in the eight-card Anthem Song Card Collection.
  • Send graduation wishes with a fun and unique 3-D Pop-Up Graduation card. Open the card to reveal the grad cap flying off and the activate fun sound. Additional cards feature fun light and sound. 
  • Gift Card Holders are available to offer superior presentation for the ever popular gift of gift cards or cash for graduation. 
  • Hallmark Mahogany offers culturally-relevant cards for the African American graduate including cards for child, high school, historically black colleges and universities and religious.
  • Hallmark Vida cards provide a broad range that meets the Spanish language graduation needs from juveniles to adults. All of the cards are written in Spanish and feature English translations on the backs.

  • offers a range of customizable Graduation greeting cards, announcements, party invitations and thank you notes for the many gifts graduates receive that consumers can customize with their own messages and photos. Ink and Main will stamp and send the card directly to one or many recipients or back to the sender to hand deliver.
  • provides Graduation ecards to send to friends and family, available with a subscription.

Celebrations & Gifts

  • Hallmark Gold Crown stores are full of gifts designed to celebrate and commemorate the graduate and those who have supported them along the way including: 
    • The Livy Long Artist Collection is designed to encourage living life to its fullest and help celebrate the graduate or anyone with a sense of fun and adventure. The collection includes over-sized mugs, handy journals, tote bags and creative gift card presenters. 
    • The College Survival Guide is full of useful, real-world information and plenty of pockets to hold money, gift cards, stamps, and more. 
    • The 2017 Autograph Monkey helps graduates remember the big day in a big way. Graduation party guests can add their warm wishes giving a way for the graduate to save and appreciate memories of the special day.
    • The Mortarboard Gift Card Holder is a unique way to present the grad with a gift of money or gift card,
    • The Proud-of-You Pup Techno Plush congratulates younger grads and young-at-heart with his cute-as-can be "Pomp and Circumstance" song. 
    • Other commemorative items include key chains, picture frames, a tassel holder, and mugs.
    • Hallmark Gift Books make perfect presents for the graduate including God's Promise for Graduates, Stop. Put Your Pencils Down, A Guide to Surviving and Thriving After Graduation, Woo-Hoo For You!, Seize Your Dreams: Inspirations to Follow Your Heart and Reach for the Stars: Nothing Can Stop a Dreamer Like You. 
  • Hallmark also offers 2017 graduation gift wrap and gift bags, trims and gift card presenters. Designs are appropriate for high school and college graduations.

Celebration History

  • 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.

In Stores & Online

Available at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide, online at, and wherever Hallmark products are sold. Use the store locator on to find the nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store.


Fun Fact

Eighteen-year-old entrepreneur J.C. Hall founded Hallmark in 1910 with little more than two shoeboxes full of postcards. Read more about J.C. Hall.