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Gifts for the graduate

From money to advice, grads' presents come in many forms, but all are valued

From money to advice, grads' presents come in many forms, but all are valued

May 28, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

When Chambersburg Area Senior High School Principal Dennis Hillwig prepares graduating seniors for commencement, he usually leaves them something to take into the world with them.

Advice.

"They've got the rest of their lives from that point on to grow educationally, to get a job, start a family," Hillwig said.

He tells them to "take this benchmark and continue to grow educationally and personally and stretch themselves throughout their lives."

When asked what would make a good graduation gift for high school students, Hillwig said money.

"Because then, if they're going to school, you can't beat cold, hard cash," Hillwig said.

When his daughter graduated in 1998, Hillwig said he and her mother gave her a ring with her birthstone and money toward a laptop computer for college.

Money is a popular gift for graduates.

Cash doesn't require shopping and it's flexible so graduates can spend it on whatever they need or want.

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"Money you can't go wrong with," said Shepherdstown, W.Va., resident Doris Eurice, 46, who is giving her nephew money for graduation.

"I think every student can appreciate that no matter what size it is," Eurice said.

The money could be spent on fun or saved for future expenses, she said. Eurice said she spent her graduation money on fun.

Money is the best option when the giver doesn't know what other type of gift the graduate would want, said Sean Henry, 24, of Hagerstown.

"When I graduated I got a fair amount of money," Henry said.

When a friend graduated two years ago, Henry gave him money and clothes for college.

North Hagerstown High School senior Cory Kuhn, 17, is enlisting in the Navy and would love to get money or clothes for graduation.

June Wagner, 65, of Hagerstown, gave her grandson, a St. Maria Goretti student, a choice: a gift or money?

He chose money so he can buy things for his dorm room, she said.

Supplies for college or living quarters are also common gift ideas for graduates.

North High senior Natalee Henry, 17, said she'd like a computer for graduation.

As for her graduating friends, Henry plans to give each a framed picture of a good memory.

Robin Alexander and Peri Baykan, both 18, of Hagerstown, decided to make their friends scrapbooks.

"You don't always have to spend money," Alexander said.

Baykan wanted to "put my own time and effort into it rather than going out and buying a gift."

Arti Patel, 17, of Hagerstown, said she would do something special for her friends, such as burn a compact disc of special songs.

Loretta Buser, 37, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., plans to buy little inspirational books for graduating acquaintances.

For relatives or close friends, she has bought gift certificates to a music store or things that would come in handy at college such as stationery to write home, Buser said.

Bill Graham, 53, of Hagerstown, knows what many graduates would prefer other than money.

"I guess the ideal gift would be a car, but that's not going to happen," Graham said.

Graham bought his older daughter jewelry as a reward and gave her a computer for college.

The plan is the same for his younger daughter, who graduates this year. She will get a practical gift and a reward, something she isn't expecting, he said.

Christine Rulle, 16, of Hagerstown, said she hadn't even thought of what she'd want for graduation.

"My diploma itself is enough," the North High graduating junior said.

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