9 Great Graduation Gifts

grad-gifts-leadIt’s nearing that time of year: diplomas, graduation gowns, tearful goodbyes and new frontiers.

So how does one find that perfect “over the top” graduation gift, one that is fun but thoughtful, sentimental but practical, and above all leaves a lasting impression? No worries, we’ve got you covered! But a word to the wise, some of these gifts can be customized for your special grad, so order early to ensure its arrival by the big day.

Hot Gifts To Spoil a Special Grad


grad-gifts-david-yurmanDavid Yurman Petite Albion Ring, $625
It doesn’t matter if it’s topaz, onyx, or prasiolite, as long as its David Yurman she will love it. The retail cost of a 7mm David Yurman ring will set you back $625, but it’s a special piece that your grad will have for a lifetime. (For less-expensive Yurman options, check out their gifts under $500.) Available locally at: Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
grad-gifts-beats-pillBeats Pill by Dr. Dre, $199
The convenience of a wireless Bluetooth connection is a dorm room (or apartment) must-have. Operation is simple; pressing and holding the glowing Beats logo lets you pair Bluetooth devices. Available in white, black and red on Amazon or at Best Buy. The pink Pill is sold exclusively at AT&T stores.
Collegiate clothing, prices vary
Vintage is the “in” thing on campus. For great, one-of-a-kind vintage sweatshirts, I shop on eBay. New college clothing (and select vintage styles) and accessories are also available at Campus Colors in Highland Park.

Personalized Sentimental Gifts


grad-gifts-picture-frameCustom decoupage picture frames, $46
These can be personalized with high school, college, or even sorority name and colors. I order at least five New Trier frames every May. Available locally at: Country Classics, 1405 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-998-4644.
grad-gifts-towelMonogrammed towels and spa wraps, $20-30
You’d be surprised how many towels get lost in college dryers. Avoid mix-ups with personalized towels and laundry bags. This is a great gift that’s very practical. Towels available locally at Initial Choice, 226 E. Westminster, Lake Forest, 847-234-5884; Spa Wraps available locally at Stitching This Stitching That, Wilmette, 847-853-4331.


Fun Gifts: Rep Your School


grad-gifts-college-keychainCollege key chains, prices vary
Every college student needs a key ring, and these fit the bill. PB Teen also carries these accessories wallets that perfectly fit a credit card, school ID and some cash. Similar key chain styles are available locally at Country Classics or Ellen’s on Elm, 841 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-441-5240.
 grad-gifts-high-school-dishHigh school porcelain ring dish, $26
These heart-shaped dishes, perfect for your daily jewelry, have New Trier or Loyola painted in the middle of the heart. Available locally at Ellen’s on Elm, 841 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-441-5240.
 grad-gifts-tumblerTervis collegiate drinking glasses, $13 each
So important for those college kids to stay hydrated! They’ll want a few of these for their dorm room. Available locally at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
 grad-gifts-eye-blackCollegiate Eye Black, $15 for 20
Your new college kid can show their school spirit at the big games wearing these cool under-eye patches.


Top photo: Graduation group of students by Bigstock