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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Department of Textiles and Clothing bids a stylish farewell to graduating seniors

Students and faculty from the Department of Textiles and Clothing came out last Thursday night to celebrate the graduation of the department’s seniors and graduate students.

Each year, the department hosts the Black & White Ball, an intimate dinner party that acknowledges the outstanding academic achievements of Textiles and Clothing students.

This year’s theme was Black, White & Bloom — with an emphasis on florals. Graduating seniors, faculty members, undergraduate majors and minors and their friends and family all gathered in the courtyard of Everson Hall. Twinkling lights were strung up from tree to tree, surrounding the tables and flower garlands hung from branches, to create an intimate and cozy setting.

“The major is really small, so it’s nice that we can have these events,” said graduating senior Ashley Mariano who was recognized for her work as a peer advisor. “Everyone gets really dressed up and it’s just really fun. Not a lot of departments on campus do that.”

Graduating graduate student Margaret Bennett agreed.

“It allows people to interact in a nonacademic setting and recognize everyone’s accomplishments throughout the year,” she said. “It’s really festive and a great way to kick off summer.”

Textiles and Clothing is one of the smallest departments at UC Davis, with only a handful of faculty members and less than 30 students in the graduating class. Thus, events like these are not uncommon. Professors address students by name and it is evident to any outsider that the Textiles and Clothing community is extremely tight-knit.

At the ball, students are given awards for outstanding academic performance and as a tradition, faculty members hand out a rose to each graduating student as a token of their affection.

This year’s prestigious Outstanding Senior Award from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists was awarded to Nidia Trejo for her work in fiber and polymer science.

“I’m so grateful for everything that I’ve learned from the Textiles and Clothing professors and that we have a program like this at UC Davis,” Trejo said. She will be attending Cornell University Graduate School for fiber science after graduation.

The event was especially bittersweet given the circumstances surrounding the department. Starting in the fall, the department will no longer be accepting incoming freshman, due to budget cuts.

“To be able to celebrate all that we’ve done, not only this school year, but everything that the department has accomplished leading up to this point, is great,” Mariano said. “I know the students are all really appreciative of the faculty and the department as a whole.”

STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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