Student Resources

Commencement and Rehearsal Schedule

December 11, 2014 - Commencement Rehearsal

Graduates please line-up on the 2nd/3rd floors of Somsen Hall. Graduates must be in line at the time indicated below. 

 10:30 AM 

All Colleges - College of Business, Liberal Arts, Education, Nursing and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering Commencement
(Graduates line-up by 10:15 AM)

December 12, 2014 - Commencement Ceremony

 10:30 AM 

All Colleges - College of Business, Liberal Arts, Education, Nursing and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering Commencement
(Graduates line-up by 9:45 AM)

General Student Information

 General Information   Conferring Degrees 
 Participation   Walking Across Stage
 Caps, Gowns & Other Items   Photographs
 Honor Cords   Recessional
 Rehearsal    Diplomas
 Row Assignments   Guest Information
 Seating   Televised Commencement
 Commencement Line-up  


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

General Information

Graduating students may only attend 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 Fall Semester participate in Fall 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.

Students approved to graduate at the end of the Summer Session may choose to attend either the Spring or 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. Provisional (Commencement) Honors for approved 

Summer graduates attending the Spring Commencement will be calculated using the preceding Fall term GPA data. Provisional (Commencement) Honors for approved Summer graduates attending the Fall Commencement will be calculated using their final Summer GPA data. 


Participation in Commencement is expected of all 2014 Fall Semester graduates.  If you are unable to participate in Commencement, you are expected to notify us by Tuesday,  Nov. 11. This can be done by changing your online application status to NO – Not Walking. A list of Commencement participants will be posted outside of the Warrior Hub (second floor Maxwell) on Friday, Nov. 7, as well as on the Registrar’s website. A copy of this list will also be posted at the University Center Rochester.  If there are any corrections to be made on this list, please notify Toni Cohen(  by Nov. 18 to ensure that the Commencement program will be correct. 

Caps, Gowns & Other Items

Caps, Gowns and other items that you will need to participate in Commencement will be available in the WSU Bookstore for purchase beginning Nov. 12 - Dec. 12.  The Bookstore is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.  

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

Commencement announcements are available at the WSU Bookstore.  The Bookstore will send out an email regarding the “Grad Finale”, a special senior being held on Friday, Nov. 14.  For additional information, contact Kerry Lang Reszka at 507.457.5673 or check the WSU Bookstore website.

Honor Cords

Honor cords for honor graduates may be picked up at the "Grad Finale" on Friday, Nov. 14 and at the Warrior Hub (second floor Maxwell), beginning Tuesday, Nov. 18.  They may also be picked up at rehearsal Dec. 11; 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 with honor cords:
Cum Laude Overall GPA between 3.600 and 3.749-purple cords
Magna Cum Laude Overall GPA between 3.750 and 3.899-silver cords
Summa Cum Laude Overall GPA between 3.900 and 4.000-gold cords


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

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 on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Somsen Hall.


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, crutches, or in need of a sign language interpreter, please inform Toni Cohen at 507.457.2868  prior to Dec. 3 for special arrangements to be made.

Commencement Line-up

Line up will be on the second and third floors of Somsen. 

It is extremely important that you be in line by 9:45 am for the CEREMONY on Dec. 12. Graduates are advised to wear comfortable shoes.  A printed Commencement program will be placed on your chair in McCown Gymnasium.   

Conferring of Degrees

Conferring of Degrees will be done by degree group.  You will be directed to stand for this event. 

Walking Across the Stage

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 it, 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:


Recessional will follow the Commencement program. Graduates will follow the stage party and faculty. Guests are asked to wait until graduates have left the hall.  Please plan to meet your guests at a pre-arranged site away from Memorial Hall.


Diplomas for students completing all coursework at the end of Fall 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 application  for up to one week after graduation.  After that time please email Toni Cohen with any address changes.

Please note: WSU reserves the right to hold your diploma if you have any unpaid fees to the University.

Guest Information

Doors open 1 hour prior to the ceremony.  There are NO tickets for this event.  If seating on the bleachers would be uncomfortable, it is possible for friends and family to view the ceremony from Integrated Wellness Complex (IWC) 145.  Strollers and balloons WILL NOT BE ALLOWED in McCown Gymnasium or the Performing Arts Center during the Commencement ceremony.  There will be a place outside of the gym reserved for stroller parking.

Senior Citizen Seating will be available in a specified section located on the main floor.

Special Seating arrangements can be made for guests with a physical disability or in need of a sign language interpreter. Please contact Toni Cohen in the Registrar’s Office or call 507.457.2868 before Dec. 3.

Televised Commencement

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.