Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In which ceremony do I participate?

You march in the ceremony for your major. View a list of majors by college. Ceremony schedules will be posted at a later date.

Are there rehearsals?

No rehearsals are held for any commencement activities. Commencement staff and marshals will direct you on the day of ceremony. 

Where is the ceremony?

Macomb graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held on Hanson Field.

Will my photo be taken?

Professional photographs will be taken of graduates with their diploma cover. Photo order forms and proofs will be mailed to students within two weeks after commencement. For individuals who do not plan to attend in-person commencement, the WIU Visual Production Center has always offered studio portraits to graduating students. Appointments may be made for a studio photo by calling (309) 298-1358. Caps and gowns are optional for the studio portraits.

What if my guests or I need disability seating and/or assistance?

Students may contact the Disability Resource Center at (309) 298-2512.

Staff will be at all commencement ceremonies to provide assistance with disability seating.

Where do I park?

Q-Lot, on the east side of Western Hall, is available for public parking. Handicapped-accessible parking spaces at the Macomb ceremony are available to the east and west of Western Hall.

Will the ceremonies be cancelled if there is bad weather or if the state increases restrictions?

Plans could change for all ceremonies if pandemic restrictions change, and/or in the event of inclement weather. Participants and guests must be aware that significant inclement weather could force a delay and/or cancelation at the last moment. Updates will be emailed to students, as well as posted on the Commencement website. Weather information is below.

Ceremonies will be held in light rain/drizzle and snow. High winds and severe weather warnings could cause delay(s) and/or cancelation(s) for the outdoor ceremonies. Graduates and guests should dress appropriately for the weather. Small umbrellas will be permitted on Hanson Field and in the stands, provided they do not obstruct the view of other guests.

Where do I purchase my cap and gown and announcements?

The University Bookstore is the sole source provider of officially licensed Western Illinois University graduation regalia. To ensure you receive the correct Western Illinois University commencement wear, please order your caps and gowns from the University Bookstore only (http://www.bookstore.wiu.edu/Graduation_ep_48.html).

The University Union Bookstore and University Printing & Mailing Center (UPMC) offer two different styles of graduation announcements. See their respective websites for more information.

How do I ensure my name will be in the commencement program?

Graduation applications must be on file in the Office of the Registrar by October 22, 2021 for Fall in order to meet deadlines. Students who have invoked the Privacy Act will not be listed in the program or have their names released to local media unless they sign a release form at the Office of the Registrar.

When will the listing of graduates be in my hometown newspaper?

Once the list has been processed, it is submitted to newspapers by University Relations. You can find the name you are looking for by going to http://www.wiu.edu/CountyNews/.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed approximately 6 to 8 weeks after degrees are conferred.

What if my name or address has changed since submitting my graduation application?

Please contact the Graduation Department in the Office of the Registrar at (309) 298-1891 to make changes.

How do I order photos or a DVD of the ceremony?

Contact the Visual Production Center at (309) 298-1358 or VPC@wiu.edu to order photos or DVDs. Yard signs to recognize graduating students are also available for purchase from VPC.

 

What is the Academic Attire?

Commencement is a ceremony to recognize the academic achievements of our graduates. All degree candidates are required to wear only appropriate and approved academic attire. Failure to comply with the guidelines below may be cause for removal from the ceremony.

  • Only stoles and cords of approved academic honor organizations may be worn on the outside of your gown during the ceremony. 
  • For undergraduates, only medallions recognizing academic achievement may be worn on the outside of the gown

Approved academic organizations are those which have a GPA threshold at or above a 3.000.  In order to request approval for an organization, the advisor must send a request and include the name of the organization, its unit affiliation, and the GPA threshold required to be a member of the organization to commencement@wiu.edu.

What do I wear to recognize honors?

Students eligible for graduating with honors distinction may pick up their Honors medallions at the Centennial Honors College in the Malpass Library in Macomb on the following dates: December 1-17 (Monday through Friday) from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. You must present your WIU ID in order to pick up your medallion(s).

Quad Cities students may pick up medallions at the Riverfront Hall front desk, 3300 River Drive, Moline, Dec. 1-17th. The desk is open from 8-4:30 Monday through Friday. Questions should be directed to 309.762.3999 x.64583.

Medallions that are not picked up will be mailed in January to the address on the graduation application.

Where do I store personal belongings during commencement?

Do not bring extra belongings, as there is not secure storage available during the ceremony. Please leave all belongings with your guests as you may not remain in the same seat throughout the ceremony.Graduating students will not be permitted to bring food or drink to their seat.