16 Great Literary Mortar Boards

It’s graduation season. Anyone who has had the chance to walk across a stage wearing a cap and gown knows that one of the recent traditions in grad fashion is decorating one’s mortar board (that’s the funny, uncomfortable, impossible-to-get-to-stay-in-place hat).

In honor of grads everywhere and in the tradition of great books — literary, genre, and otherwise — here’s a round-up of some great literary mortar boards spotted at ceremonies over the last few years. Not all of these have attributions, but I’ve tried my best where possible.




from the @expecto_exterminate Instagram account, a fitting tribute to The Hunger Games.


may the job offers mortar board



Another take on Hunger Games, this time with job offers.


not all those who wander mortar board



Resisting an incredible urge to write “that’s what I’m Tolkien about.” Ah, oops. There it is.


dr seuss mortar board



A simple but pretty Dr. Seuss tribute via Lizzie Fresh on Tumblr.


dr seuss mortar board #2



Another take on the Seuss classic, this time with an illustration.


Lorax Cap



Via this Instagram user, it’s from the lesser-quoted Seuss book The Lorax.




game of loans mortar board



Hard to detect the lie in this play on The Game of Thrones mortar board.



mischief managed mortar board


Of course, here’s one take on Harry Potter.


dumbledore mortar board

And another take on Harry Potter.


hogwarts fafsa



I’m sensing theme here.


HP Cap



J. K. Rowling is the best, isn’t she?



Alice in Wonderland mortar board



Kimberlyn Thomas took Alice in Wonderland as her cap’s inspiration.


tfios grad caps


If you’re going to do coordinating mortar boards with your significant other or best friend, you go all the way with your The Fault in Our Stars dedication.


wizard of oz cap



Via this Instagram user, a lovely cap with a nice quote from The Wizard of Oz.


jane austen mortar board



For the Jane Austen fan grads out there.


reading grad cap



The perfect sentiment for any reader, via a graduate at California State University San Marcos.



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