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3 Cool Gift Ideas For College Graduates

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If you have a friend or family member graduating from college, you might be looking for a meaningful and useful graduation gift. While money is traditional and always appreciated, sometimes you want to give a physical object as a lasting token of how proud you are of them. Since college graduation represents not only the result of years of hard work and study but also the transition to the working world, gifts that can be used in their professional life are especially appropriate. Here are some ideas for gifts that college grads can put to good use.

1. Pen/pencil set from their college

A refillable pen and a mechanical pencil decorated with the college's seal or logo make appropriate and useful gifts. High-quality writing instruments are often overlooked in today's "throwaway" culture, but they are wonderful accents for desks and will help your graduate appear more professional.  Even though it's a digital world, it's still a joy to use a quality pen when you need to write in longhand, fill out a paper form or sign a document. With proper care it will last for decades. Most college bookstores or gift shops carry these pen and pencil sets. You can also have them engraved with the recipient's name or initials and graduation year to make them personal.

2. Business card holder

Even in the high-tech world where people store their contacts in their email programs and smartphones, people still use business cards. Whether your graduate has a job offer or is still looking, they'll probably have business cards eventually and they'll need a way to carry them in their briefcase or place them properly on their desk. Business card cases or holders are a convenient and professional way to keep card edges from curling and to make sure the cards are always there when they need them.

3. Office wall décor

Something to hang on their office wall is also a thoughtful and professional gift. Having their diploma framed for them is a wonderful way to express your pride and to give them something that they can use for their entire career. If the diploma has not yet arrived in the mail, mounting and framing their graduation stole instead creates a beautiful piece that they can enjoy for many years. A framed and mounted stole is also a unique conversation piece that will display their pride in their alma mater and preserve the stole for many years. Use archival mounting materials, or take the stole to a professional framer who will use the correct materials for safe, long-term preservation and display.

Finding the right gift for a college graduate isn't always easy, especially if you want the gift to be practical, long-lasting and useful in their future job. Pen and pencil sets and business card holders are two standbys that can be customized and used every day. Framing their diploma or graduation stole is not only a thoughtful gesture, but a wonderful gift that commemorates their college and reflects your pride in their achievement.