General Student Information
Graduating students may only participate in one Commencement Ceremony. Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of the semester participate in Commencement.
Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of Spring Semester participate in Spring Commencement. Students scheduled to complete their degree requirements at the end of Summer Session have their choice to attend either the Spring Commencement or the Fall Commencement.
The deadline for summer graduates to inform the Warrior Hub which commencement they wish to attend is the midterm date of the preceding Spring term. Summer graduates who do not notify the Warrior Hub by the midterm date will be invited to attend the proceeding Fall Commencement.
Caps, Gowns and other items that you will need to participate in Commencement will be available in the WSU Bookstore for purchase. The Bookstore is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.
You will need to know the degree that you will be receiving – Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social Work, or Masters Degree. If you are unsure of your degree, please check the commencement list posted outside the Registrar’s Office and online, or check your DARS.
Commencement announcements are available at the WSU Bookstore. The Bookstore will send out an email regarding the “Grad Finale”, a special senior event. For additional information, contact Kerry Lang Reszka at 507.457.5673 or check the WSU Bookstore website.
Honor cords for honor graduates may be picked up at the "Grad Finale". If you are unable to attend either event, honor cords will be available for pick up. They may also be picked up at rehearsal; your row leader will bring your cord to rehearsal. All remaining cords will be sent with row leaders to the lineup in Somsen on Commencement day.
Honors for Commencement are calculated with the GPA at the end of Fall Semester. Please visit the Registrar website to review the honors policy. Honor cords are worn over the left shoulder. No jewelry, scarves or corsages should be worn.
The following explains which honors correspond with which honor cords:
Cum Laude (purple cords): Overall GPA between 3.600 and 3.749
Magna Cum Laude (silver cords): Overall GPA between 3.750 and 3.899
Summa Cum Laude (gold cords): Overall GPA between 3.900 and 4.000
Your presence at rehearsal is important for Commencement to run smoothly. If for some reason you are not able to attend rehearsal, please arrange for a graduating friend to relay specific instructions to you. Please refer to the top of this web page for date and times.
Row assignments will be posted online and at the north wall entrance of Memorial Hall as well as on the bulletin board outside the Warrior Hub. Please find your place, and then line up along the sidewalk north of Somsen Hall and Memorial Hall, continuing on the sidewalk of Main Street outside of McCown Gymnasium. If inclement weather, you will line up on the second and third floors of Somsen. It is extremely important that you be in line by 8:45 am for the AM ceremony and 1:15 pm for the PM ceremony the day of commencement.
Seating of the candidates for associate and bachelor degrees will be alphabetical by name, within college and degree group. Candidates for graduation will proceed after the stage party and be followed by the faculty.
Important Note: If you are a graduate that will be using a wheelchair or crutches, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are in need of a sign language interpreter, please contact email@example.com.
Line up will be along the sidewalk north of Somsen Hall and Memorial Hall, continuing on the sidewalk of Main street outside of McCown Gymnasium. If inclement weather, you will line up on the second and third floors of Somsen. It is extremely important that you be in line by 8:45 am for the AM Ceremony and 1:15 pm for the PM Ceremony.
Conferring of Degrees will be done by degree group. You will be directed to stand for this event.
Walking across the stage to receive your diploma cover will be done by college, and by degree group within the college. The first row of the conferring degree group will move to the platform to receive the diploma cover while the remaining rows remain seated until “cued” by an usher to proceed as a row to the platform. After receiving your diploma, return to your seat via the opposite aisle.
To respect the dignity of the ceremony and allow all guests to see their degree candidates recognized, guests are not allowed on the floor of the arena and are requested to remain seated. Arrangements have been made with Lifetouch to photograph each degree candidate during the ceremony. Degree candidates will each receive a proof in the mail with information regarding the options to purchase portraits. Questions regarding photographs should be directed to Lifetouch at 507.522.3200.
View and order portraits directly online at: www.events.lifetouch.com.
The recessional will follow the commencement ceremony. Graduates will follow the stage party and faculty. Guests are asked to wait until graduates have left the hall. Please make a plan to meet at a specified location away from McCown gym.
Diplomas for students completing all coursework at the end of Spring Semester will be mailed during the summer to the diploma address listed on your graduation application. Please keep the Registrar’s Office informed of changes to your diploma address. Changes can be made to the online graduation application for up to one week after graduation. After that time please email Toni Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org with any address changes.
Please note: WSU reserves the right to hold your diploma if you have any unpaid fees to the University.
Doors open 1 hours prior to the ceremony. There are no tickets for this event. We strongly encourage no more than 6 guests per graduate. If seating on the bleachers would be uncomfortable, it is possible for friends and family to view the ceremony from Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC) 143 and Harriet Johnson Auditorium in Somsen Hall, which is adjacent to the McGown Gymnasium.
Limited Senior Citizen seating will be available in a specified section located on the main floor.
Strollers and balloons will not be allowed in McCown Gymnasium or the Harriet Johnson Auditorium during the Commencement ceremony. IWC 145 is reserved for stroller parking. Please note that this room is not monitored. We will hold balloons for your guests until after the ceremony.
Special Seating arrangements can be made for guests with a physical disability. Please contact email@example.com.
Commencement Family Lodging is available at the Tau Center on our West Campus. Single rooms with linen are $15 per person per night. For more information contact the housing office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507.474.3900.
Televised Commencement ceremony will be broadcast by HBC in Winona on Channel 25 and by Charter in Rochester on Channel 20. The ceremony will be re-telecast at later dates. The dates and times will be posted on the WSU web page.