Commencement Weekend Schedule

We regretfully share the news that Commencement, planned for Saturday, May 9, will be postponed.

This decision was based on the CDC recommendation that, during the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. We understand that this necessary postponement will come as a tremendous disappointment to our graduating seniors, and we are firmly committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 and their achievements at a later date.

Updated: March 17, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

Time Details
8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast – McKinley’s Food Court
An assortment of Danish pastries, muffins, coffeecake, whole fruit, juice and coffee will be available for purchase.
1:30 -2:30 p.m. Commencement Concert – Ford Chapel
4:15 -4:30 p.m. Baccalaureate Preparation – Campus Center
All graduating seniors should report to the second floor in the Campus Center by 4:00 p.m. with cap and gown to line up for the Baccalaureate processional. Faculty marshals will give you instructions for the ceremony.
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Baccalaureate – Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium, Campus Center
A Senior Celebration is the first official Commencement Weekend ceremony and speaks to the spiritual aspect of this moment in the lives of our graduates.  Students and faculty offer readings, reflections, and music, and senior memories are captured in a slideshow of the graduating class engaged in extracurricular activities.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Friday Evening Dinner – Brooks Dining Hall
Reservations required; this dinner is NOT mandatory and there is NO program.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Time Details
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony – Ford Chapel
Noon Rehearsal for Graduates – Brooks Dining Hall (weather permitting)/Wise Center Performance Arena (rain location)
MANDATORY! Graduates, please arrive at noon in academic gown to get your seating assignment, line up position and receive instructions in advance of the Commencement Ceremony. We allow just enough time to accomplish this process, and your cooperation is appreciated (and needed). Graduates are honored individually, and we want to be sure you receive the right diploma! You will proceed directly from rehearsal to the Commencement Ceremony site.
1:30 p.m. Academic Procession
Wise Sports Forum
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Commencement Ceremony
Wise Sports Forum
The formal graduation ceremony! A formal procession of students and faculty in academic regalia opens this traditional ceremony. A Presidential welcome and presentation of the honorary degree recipients and their remarks precede the conferring of degrees upon degree recipients.  Closed circuit viewing will be set up in Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium. 
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. All-College Departmental Reception
Quade Walk (Murray Lawn) to Senior Circle or Campus Center lobby (rain location)
An opportunity for graduates to introduce their family to faculty and staff and to say goodbye to classmates in an informal relaxed atmosphere.