Decorating caps for graduation has become part of the rite of passage on Long Island, along with senior prom, valedictorian speeches, and “Pomp and Circumstance.” Here's a look at some creative caps by high school and college grads. 

Gilda Aparicio, 37, from Massapequa Park, graduated from Alfred University this spring and she says she "did it for her kids," Adrianna, 19, Alessia, 13, MJ, 12 and Gigi, 5, featured on her decorated grad cap.

Photo Credit: Gilda Aparicio

Credit: Angela Praino

Angela Praino, 17, of Bellmore, graduated from W.C. Mepham High School in Bellmore with the class of 2022. Her graduation cap was inspired by her favorite coffee shop, Dunkin Donuts.

Credit: Angela Praino

Credit: Zachary Arzt

Zarchary Arzt, 17, of Merrick, already graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore on June 12. “I’m going to the University of Florida, so I put the Gator logo in the center,” he says.

PHOTO CREDIT: Zachary Arzt

Credit: Megan Hansen

Megan Hansen, 18, of Bellmore, graduated from Calhoun High School in Merrick on June 12, wearing a cap she decorated in a Hollywood motif, with “That’s a wrap Calhoun” and a director’s clapboard with details including where she plans to attend college in the fall.

PHOTO CREDIT: Megan Hansen

Credit: Joanne Genzone

Nina Genzone, 17, and Justin Gomez, 18, both of Bellmore, at their Calhoun High School graduation ceremony on June 12. Genzone’s cap is a tribute to her aunt, who recently died of breast cancer, and Gomez used his cap to reflect his personality. “I’m funny, and I don’t take anything seriously,” he says.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joanne Genzone


Chelsea Esprit, 17, of Valley Stream, who graduated this month from Nassau BOCES’ Barry Tech, opted for an inspirational message on her cap.


Credit: JD Wolynetz

JD Wolynetz of Brentwood, who is headed to college to study applied math, used his cap to remind classmates “Inside everyone there is gold.”


Credit: Linda Rosier

Friends, and fellow graduating seniors gather at the home of Arden Goldberg for a cap decorating party in Woodbury, June 20, 2022. From left- Arden Goldberg, Molly Goldstein, Mia Silverman, Alexa Brecher, Taylor Nash Friends are : Taylor Nash- attending Indiana University Alexa Brecher- The University of Florida Molly Goldstein- The University of Maryland Mia Silverman- The University of Maryland Arden is attending Ohio State


Students from Nassau County BOCES’ Long Island High School for the Arts paid tribute to Billy Joel at their graduation ceremony; Joel pledged $1.5 million to the program this year.

CREDIT Courtesy Nassau BOCES

Credit: Nicole Prego

Nicole Prego, 39, of Ronkonkoma, wore this cap when she graduated from Suffolk Community College in Selden in May.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nicole Prego

Credit: Brooke Dubay

Brooke Dubay, a senior at Sayville High School, decorated her graduation cap as a tribute to Dominik a friend she lost to cancer, while giving her the courage to face her own illness.

Credit: Rianna Raghunandan

Rianna Raghunandan of Bellport High School decorated her cap with nods to her chosen college – Yale University – as well as the band BTS she listened to through high school.

PHOTO CREDIT: Rianna Raghunandan

Credit: D’Niey Dennis

D’Niey Dennis, 18, a senior at Wyandanch High School, dedicated her cap to her older brother who died in October of 2021. It says, “Did It For You.” “I kept going like he wanted me to,” she says. Dennis plans to attend Georgia State University to study business.