Graduating Students


Congratulations, you did it! You’ve earned your degree, and you deserve to celebrate that amazing achievement.

All the faculty and staff here at WSU wish you the best as you move forward in your career path.


To Participate in the Ceremony

You may participate in the commencement ceremony only if you:

  1. have an approved graduation application
  2. are completing your degree requirements that term

Learn more about graduation requirements.

You can indicate whether you want to participate in the commencement ceremony in your Undergraduate Student Graduation Application or Graduate Student Graduation Application. If your plans change, you can edit your graduation application.

Doctor of Education and Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates must declare their participation at least 12 weeks in advance to ensure appropriate regalia is available for the ceremony.

For the health and safety of our students, staff, and the community, all participating students need to register by Nov. 1, 2021.

Please ensure that your Diploma Address indicated on your application is accurate.


Be Recognized Virtually

If you are unable to attend the commencement ceremony, you can choose to be recognized virtually.

Students should do the following on their graduation application:

  1. leave the checkbox blank, or mark No, for "I plan to participate in commencement"
  2. check the checkbox, or mark Yes, for "Include me in the commencement program"

What to Expect

Celebration Package


All students approved for Fall 2021 graduation--including Summer 2021 graduates-- will receive a Celebration Package to recognize their accomplishments. These packages will include:

  • Commencement Tickets for registered graduates
  • Diploma Cover
  • Tassel
  • Cap
  • Letter from the President
  • Alumni Pin
  • Window Sign

Additional items that may be included are honor cords, club cords, departmental stoles/pins, awards, and more.

Commencement gowns and hoods are not included in the Celebration Package. You can purchase these in person or online through the WSU Bookstore.

All graduates are invited to pick up their Celebration Package during the Warrior Graduate Celebration on Friday, Nov. 19.

You can also pick up your Celebration Package on Thurs. Dec. 9 and prior to each ceremony on Friday, Dec. 10. You will be notified via email of additional dates, times and locations.

Packages can be picked up by yourself or someone else. Contact Kristine at kristine.benjamin@winona.edu with any questions.

Tickets for Guests


Due to limited seating available, there is a ticketing system.

Each participating student will receive 4 tickets:

  • 2 tickets for the in-person ceremony in McCown Gymnasium
  • 2 tickets for the live stream viewing in Harriet Johnson Auditorium

Tickets are free, but all guests will need to present a ticket to be admitted to the McCown Gym and the Harriet Johnson Auditorium.

International students can also learn more about getting a visitor visa for family members.

Ceremony Tutorial Info


There will not be a physical rehearsal.

Please read through the rehearsal instructions (PDF) for more information.

Attire & Regalia


It is optional to wear commencement regalia such as a cap and gown. Please wear professional attire if you prefer not to wear the traditional gown.

If you choose to wear a cap and gown, you can get these items plus a tassel and any honor cords at the Warrior Graduate Celebration.

Graduate students have an additional hood as part of their regalia. You will purchase the hood and gown which can be worn to the commencement ceremony.


Decoration Policies

Academic protocol states that you cannot pin jewelry or flowers to your gown.

Decoration of your mortarboard is permitted but will be monitored.

WSU reserves the right to require you to remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Examples of inappropriate embellishment include, but are not limited to:

  • vulgar language
  • references to alcohol/drugs
  • inappropriate verbiage or photos/graphic images
  • any decoration that might obstruct the view of people seated behind you

Seating


Undergraduate students will be seated by academic college. Before the ceremony, you must check in at your appropriate college table and pick up your name card.

Graduate students will be seated by college and degree type. Before the ceremony, you must check in at the Graduate Studies table and pick up your name card.

Accessibility Acommodations


If you need any type of accommodations, email the Warrior Hub at graduation@winona.edu with your request.

Please send your request well before the commencement ceremony to allow for arrangements to be made.

  • If a sign language interpreter is needed, send your request at least five weeks in advance
  • If accessible seating is needed, send your request at least two weeks in advance
  • If you have any other personal needs, send your request at least two weeks in advance

After the Ceremony


Graduates will follow the stage party out of McCown Gym to the Johnson Street turnaround to ring the WSU Commencement bell once the ceremony is over.

Guests are asked to wait to exit the gym and auditorium until the graduates are outside.

Please make a plan to meet at a location away from McCown Gym and the bell.