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 and the commencement schedules.

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?

The Academic Honors Convocation and graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies are held in Western Hall Located at 1051 W. University Drive, Macomb, IL 61455

ROTC commissioning is the University Union Brattain Lounge.

Do I need tickets for the ceremony?

No tickets are needed, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 1½ hours before each ceremony in Macomb. Saving seats is not permitted.  Due to space limitations for May undergraduate ceremonies, Spring graduates are asked to limit their guests to no more than 6 individuals.

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. View a map of Western Hall.

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 (

The University Union Bookstore and Document and Publication Services (DPS) 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 23, 2020 in order to meet printing 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

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed approximately 6 to 8 weeks after commencement.

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 to order photos or DVDs.



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

Cords and stoles are permitted to be worn by members of:

  • Alpha Epsilon Rho
  • Alpha Kappa Delta
  • Alpha Mu Gamma
  • Alpha Phi Sigma
  • Alpha Sigma Lambda
  • Alpha Zeta
  • Beta Alpha Psi
  • Beta Beta Beta
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Blue Key National Honor Society
  • Chi Alpha Sigma
  • Chi Sigma (Sigma Theta Tau)
  • Delta Epsilon Iota
  • Delta Psi
  • Epsilon Pi Tau
  • Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Iota Iota Iota
  • Kappa Delta Pi
  • Kappa Omicron Nu
  • Kappa Pi
  • Kappa Sigma
  • Lambda Pi Eta
  • Mortar Board
  • National Society for Collegiate Scholars
  • Nursing Honor Society
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Phi Alpha Theta
  • Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society
  • Phi Epsilon Sigma
  • Phi Eta Sigma
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Pi Gamma Mu
  • Psi Chi
  • Sigma Alpha Lambda 
  • Sigma Delta Pi
  • Sigma Iota Epsilon
  • Sigma Tau Delta
  • Tau Sigma
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities



What do I wear to recognize honors?

Medallions will be awarded at the Academic Honors Convocation to students who graduate with Academic Distinction (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude). For more information about the Academic Honors Convocation, please contact the Centennial Honors College at (309) 298-2228.

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 march into the gym with food or drink.