How to Thank That Favorite Professor

With some professors, you’re eager to forget their names the moment you walk out of the final exam. Others, however, you always want to remember as they inspire you to try harder, achieve more, and pursue new endeavors. As you get ready to leave school, you might want to thank those professors who made your university life better; but how do you express your gratitude on a limited student budget?

Write a Note

When today’s students want to express themselves, they send a text or fire off an email to the recipient. However, a handwritten note requires more time, thought, and energy, which makes it more special. However, it doesn’t require any cash (as long as you have paper and a pen handy), so it won’t eat into your budget. Share an anecdote or express your gratitude in the note, then mail it via the postal service or hand-deliver it to your professor’s office. Just make sure you write legibly. Feeling creative? Make your not into a card.

Buy Office Supplies

If you paid attention in class (of course you did!), you might have noticed what office supplies your professor preferred to use. Maybe he or she had an unnatural love for different colors of dry erase markers, or perhaps your favorite professor was always marking passages in books with sticky notes.

An office-supply gift might not offer the most appealing option, so think about your professor’s tastes and habits. If you know he or she always carried a cup of tea through the school’s corridors, a new mug or set of teacups might offer a better alternative.

Make a Donation

Many professors support specific causes. Maybe your favorite teacher frequently discussed a particular charity or cause that was close to his or her heart. Consider making a small donation — even $5 or $10 — in your professor’s name, as it’s a kind and thoughtful way to express your gratitude as you embark upon the next phase in your life.

Gift a Potted Plant

You can pick up a flower or plant at the supermarket for less than $15, but it makes a great gift. Your professor can take it home or keep it on campus, depending on his or her preferences. If you know that your favorite teacher has a somewhat black thumb, go with a plant of the hard-to-kill variety, such as a succulent.

Get Busy in the Kitchen

If you’re an aspiring gourmet chef, hit the kitchen to thank your favorite professor. A tin of cookies or a tub of dip might not last forever, but your teacher will appreciate your thoughtfulness and enjoy a delicious snack when he or she goes home. Are you lacking culinary skills? A gift basket with edible treats might offer a more realistic solution. You could also gift a bag of your professor’s favorite coffee or a small gift card to a favorite restaurant.

Many professors sacrifice their time and energy to give every student an opportunity to succeed. When a teacher makes an impression on you — the good kind, anyway — expressing your gratitude right before graduation sends a powerful message.


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