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Iona Graduates Going Green

Iona’s graduates will prevent more than 20,000 plastic bottles from being sent to landfills when they don robes made of recyclable materials at commencement on Saturday.


NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - When the Iona College Class of 2019 marches for commencement on May 18, they will be earning their degrees as well as making a significant contribution to the greening of the environment.

According to The Guardian, a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and that number is increasing. Instead of adding to the alarming statistic, Iona graduates will be doing their part to fight it; the gowns the students will be wearing are made of 100 percent recyclable materials.

Iona is working with Oak Hall Cap and Gown, the company that introduced sustainable caps and gowns to higher education in 2009 with their GreenWeaver wear. According to Oak Hall, it takes an average of 23 recycled bottles to make each gown. One hundred students wearing recycled gowns spare the ocean and landfills 2,300 bottles.

Unlike typical commencement gowns, these gowns are wrinkle resistant, lightweight, softer than traditional polyester and can be recycled after use.

“It is exciting to think that with more than 900 graduates donning these robes at the commencement exercises, Iona will be instrumental in preventing over 20,000 plastic bottles from being sent to landfills!” said Carl Procario-Foley, Ph.D., chair of the Iona College Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

Iona College challenges its community to Move the World — and to many, moving toward a greener world is a top priority. Through academic programs, research initiatives, co-curricular activities, campus greening, committee work, and community partnerships, Iona strives to cultivate a culture of stewardship that embraces environmental consciousness, social justice, and inclusivity.

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2020.” Iona College also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility.