Information for Families and Friends

  • Social distancing and face coverings are required for all participants, guests, and staff.
  • Students and guests must also complete the self-check at before arriving on campus.
  • List of majors by college
  • Four (4) guest tickets will be available to each graduate (no exceptions). There is no charge for the guest tickets. Guest tickets are required for entry into the respective ceremony. Additional tickets will not be made available.
  • The ceremony is expect to last less than 2 1/2 hours.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If the weather forces a cancelation, a limited virtual ceremony will be launched at a later date.


  • Guests are not allowed near the stage during the ceremony.
  • Professional photographs will be taken of graduates with their diploma cover. While masks are required throughout the ceremony, students may remove their mask for this photo. Photo order forms and proofs will be mailed to students within two weeks after commencement.

Etiquette and Decorum

  • Commencement is a milestone that should be celebrated appropriately. We ask that all graduates and guests respect the importance and dignity of this occasion, and celebrate in a way that does not infringe upon the rights of others or diminish the experiences of others.
  • Follow the instructions of the marshals and commencement staff.
  • Maintain social distancing and wear a face covering over your mouth and nose throughout the event.
  • Plan to stay seated for the entire ceremony.
  • Do not obstruct aisles.
  • Place electronic devices (cell phones, iPads, gaming devices, etc.)  on vibrate or silent mode.
  • Large balloon bouquets or banners that obstruct the view of others are prohibited. 
  • Refrain from extended applause or cheers that "drown out" the name of the next graduate. All graduates deserve equal recognition for their accomplishments. 
  • Disruptive or disrespectful behavior may result in removal from the premises. 
  • Thank you for your cooperation in observing these guidelines. 

No Noisemaking Devices

  • Noisemaking devices are prohibited. Possession of noisemaking devices, especially air horns, may result in removal from the premises. Consideration for the safety and welfare of all attendees is a priority. 


Disability Information

  • Western Illinois University staff will be available to assist family members and guests who need assistance.
  • Disability parking information coming soon.

First Aid

A first aid station will be open during all ceremonies


There will be flowers available for purchase from a local florist near the north entrance of Hanson Field.

The WIU Bookstore will have apparel and other items for sale in the University Union from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Alcohol Policy

  • Alcohol is not permitted.
  • Anyone in possession of alcohol will be immediately removed from the premises by on-duty police officers.

No Smoking/Tobacco Policy

  • Western is a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus