University graduation party ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

University graduation is an occasion to celebrate and feel honoured. After all of the hard work and years put in, the graduate deserves recognition before she transitions to a new phase of life. Choose a way to celebrate that puts the emphasis on friends and family but that also reflects the tastes of the graduate.

Backyard BBQ

For the laid-back graduate, host a backyard barbecue for friends and family. Piles of burgers and hot dogs (meat or veggie) or juicy steaks for the occasion, tortilla chips and guacamole, pitchers of iced tea or lemon aid and vegetable and fruit trays will keep everyone munching as they relax on the patio or deck. Adapt decorations to the setting by hanging up colourful paper lanterns and foregoing paper banners in favour of chalk art saying "congratulations" on the deck or backyard sidewalk. The pastel colours of the Doctor Seuss "Oh, the Places You'll Go" graduation party theme would work perfectly for this party.

Tapas Open House

For the hip graduate, suggests combining the popular tapas party with an open-house dance party where guests can drop by casually to accommodate the busy party schedule of graduate season. The Spanish tapas menu offers a wide variety of party foods to choose from, from empanadas and tortillas to mussels, clams and sausage bites. Accompany the mouth-watering selection with pitchers of Red Wine Sangria and Sangria Blanco. (Reference 5) There are many online sites for tapas recipes, and Tapas also offers a page of tapas cookbooks reviews. For the dancing portion of the party, you can put together a CD for the graduate featuring classic tunes on themes on congratulations, nostalgia and goodbyes. But don't forget to include "School's Out for the Summer."

Vocational Party

Recognise the graduate's years of devotion to a major with a theme organised around their field of study and future career. For the science student, plan a Mad Scientist party with Einstein wigs and moustaches for the guests and celebrate with a brain cake. For the theatre major, decorate the house with comedy and tragedy masks and make a dressing room door cake by decorating a chocolate cake with a gold star and writing the graduate's name under it. For the Fine Arts graduate, serve appetizers on artist's palettes and set up a pad of paper on an easel where family member and friends have drawn their own pictures of memories of the graduate and visions of his future. A vocational party lets you direct your creativity towards making a memorable event that celebrates the graduate's passion and accomplishment.

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About the Author

Elise Moore has a master's degree in English. She enjoys writing about party planning and has greatly expanded her knowledge of the visual and plastic arts while researching articles for various websites.