Professor Ramakrishna Nunna, [pictured left] who is Dean of the Lyles College of Engineering, US, and Walter Mizuno M.S. [pictured right] who is a lecturer at the college, are the inventors of the world’s first (and newly patented) Graduation mortarboard display holder. (United States Patent 9,468,247, October 18, 2016, assigned to California State University, Fresno California.)
Here’s the raison d’être and the modus operandi :
“During graduation exercises, the graduating students are dressed uniformly in matching robes and mortarboards. From certain angles, the broad mortarboards can obscure the faces of graduating students. Parents, friends and loved ones have difficulty distinguishing the graduating student of interest in large graduating classes due to the uniformity of dress and the mortarboard acting to block facial features. Also, many graduating students chafe at the forced uniformity of graduation dress. Some wish to express their individuality during one of the most important days of their lives.
To express some individuality, some graduating students embellish the top of their respective mortarboards by drawing on or gluing designs to them. These modifications are generally permanent. Since many graduating students rent or borrow graduation outfits, permanent modification of the top of the rented or borrowed mortarboard is undesirable.
What is needed is a simple and non-permanent way for graduating students to individualize their mortarboards to make it easier for their loved ones to spot the individual in a crowd, and to express the wearer’s messages, feelings, and sentiments on graduation day.
This invention is a mortar board display holder comprising a board clip portion, a display supporter portion, and a connecting portion joining the board clip portion and the display supporter portion. The board clip portion has a flat upper prong having a first plane, a flat lower prong having a second plane, and a spacing member that holds the upper prong fixably spaced from the lower prong such that the second plane is substantially parallel to the first plane. The display supporter portion has a flat first leg having a third plane, a flat second leg having a fourth plane, and a holding member that holds the first leg and the second leg such that the third plane is substantially parallel to the fourth plane. ”
Note: Fresno State undergraduate regalia (cap, gown and tassel) ($31.50+ $2.59 tax) and graduate regalia (cap, gown, tassel and hood) ($64.50 + $5.30 tax) are available here (Improbable has made attempts to contact the inventors regarding commercial availability of the display holder, but with little, if any, success).