Texas Living

Lone Star State gifts for graduates

By Lisa Martin 5.22.13

The tens of thousands of students collecting their undergrad and graduate degrees this spring can count on family and friends to commemorate their achievement with everything from “Class of 2013” memorabilia to cash. How about giving your favorite grad a thoughtful item that pays tribute to his or her beloved alma mater? Here are a few ideas that make the grade.

Two-Step in Style

Your graduate will put his or her best foot foward with custom cowboy boots from Leddy’s in Fort Worth.

“The only one we stock with college logos is TCU because we’re in their backyard but we will do anything anyone likes,” says Katy Walker, the company’s ladies buyer.

Just make sure to plan ahead — custom boots, which are handmade in San Angelo, can take 10 months to one year to complete. It’s worth the wait, though, for sumptuous footwear in materials that range from calfskin (starting at $600) to kangaroo (around $800) to ostrich ($1,995).

Graduate to Better Luggage

According to Robert Burke, president of the San Antonio-based luggage maker Jon Hart Design, his company’s university line has sold well for more than two decades.

Alums from UT, Baylor, Texas Tech, A&M, and TCU give high marks to laundry bags, makeup kits, boot bags, and other trendy accessories. Tailgaters will especially appreciate the soft-sided cooler ($179) and The Big Chill, a portable ice chest ($269) to take to the big game.

Charm School

James Avery jewelry, the Kerrville-based, family-owned retailer, boasts a range of charms and other baubles handcrafted by artisans in the Texas Hill Country.

Among their most popular collegiate offerings are longhorn charms ($36 in sterling silver; $180 in 14k gold) plus Baylor, Tech, and A&M key chains ($79 in bronze; $130 in sterling). For a fee, you can have most items engraved with a personal message, too.