University News

WIU's Spring 2021 Commencement May 14-16

April 30, 2021

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Ceremonies recognizing the academic and personal accomplishments of Western Illinois University students and alumni will be held Friday-Saturday, May 14-15 in Macomb, and Sunday, May 16 in the Quad Cities, during Western's Spring 2021 Commencement Weekend. More information is available at

The number of students eligible to participate in Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies is 1,514, which includes 1,195 undergraduate students, of which 78 students are in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program (formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts degree program); 319 are master's-level graduate students; and three students are earning their doctorates in educational leadership (Ed.D.): Lacey Anderson, of Seatonville, IL; Luz Amalia Hernandez, of East Moline, IL; and Christopher Ronald Lewis, of Rochelle, IL.


Registration is required to attend the ceremonies and a total of four tickets are available per graduating student. Tickets can be picked up at the University Box Office at the west entrance to Browne Hall from 1-5 p.m. through Friday, April 30. They will also be available at Hanson Field 90 minutes prior to each ceremony.

Macomb Honors

This year's Academic Honors Convocation will be held virtually, and can be found at This semester's list of scholars and those with academic distinction can be found at

Commencement Ceremonies

Provost and Academic Vice President Martin Abraham will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Polly Radosh, chair of WIU's Board of Trustees, and President Guiyou Huang will present remarks to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies. WIU's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, School of Music Professor Brian S. Locke, will be recognized at each ceremony. The Western Illinois University Brass Quintet, under the direction of WIU Director of Bands, Professor Mike Fansler, will play for the Macomb and Quad Cities ceremonies.

Events for Friday, May 14 (Hanson Field) include:

• 5 p.m. Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, Hanson Field

National Anthem singer: Kaela Massey (Udall, KS), Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre, Class of 2021.

Saturday, May 15 (Hanson Field) include:

• 9 a.m
. – During the 9 a.m. ceremony, candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and College of Business and Technology (CBT) will be recognized on Hanson Field. National Anthem singer: Joseph Collins, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, of Sherrard, IL. Alumni speaker: Tom Carper, Class of 1982.

Marshals, who are graduating seniors selected from the top scholars earning high academic distinction, guide the graduating class, faculty and stage party during the ceremony and the the recessional. Marshals are: College of Arts and Sciences - Audrey Fletcher (Macomb); Natalie Kaganich (Carlinville IL); and Morgan Knutsen (Machesney Park, IL) – College of Business and Technology - Bradley Lake (Carrollton, IL) and Natalie Landgraf (Mendota, IL).

• 1:30 p.m. – During the 1:30 p.m. ceremony, candidates in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) and College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) will be recognized. National Anthem singer: Allyson Wiacek, Bachelor of Music, Class of 2021, of Plainfield, IL. Alumni speaker, Erin Merryn, Class of 2008.

Marshals are: College of Education and Human Services – Nicole Neuweg (Dallas City, IL); Kyle Sandhaas (New Berlin, IL); and Kolton Stockdell (Joliet, IL). College of Fine Arts and Communication – Madison Benge (Biggsville, IL); Randy Larson (Burlington, WI) and Morgan Miller (Geneseo, IL).

Sunday, May 16 – WIU-QC Commencement

• 1 p.m
. – Combined graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremony, TaxSlayer Center, Moline, IL. Provost and Academic Vice President Abraham will serve as master of ceremonies for each ceremony. Greetings will be given by Chair Radosh, of the WIU Board of Trustees. President Huang will present remarks to the graduating class. National Anthem singer: Lillian Schierbrock, (West Point, IA) Bachelor of Music, Class of 2021. Alumni speaker Denise Hnytka, Class of 2006.

Marshals include Adejumoke Adedokun (Davenport, IA); Haley Newcomb (Le Claire, IA); Ashley Danner (Port Byron, IL); and Alexis Steiner (Moline, IL).


Gonfalons, which are banners hung from a crossbar on poles, made their inaugural appearance in the Fall 2009 Commencement ceremonies. Western Illinois University gonfalons are for the School of Graduate Studies, as well as for each of the four academic colleges: Arts and Sciences (white); Business and Technology (royal blue); Education and Human Services (UN blue) and Fine Arts and Communication (spice brown).

Live Broadcast/Web Stream

Western's University Television (UTV) will broadcast all Macomb Commencement ceremonies live on Macomb's Cable Channel 3. The Macomb and Quad Cities ceremonies will also be available vial livestream on WIU's YouTube channel.


Photographs of each graduate will be taken as they receive their diploma cover. Proof sheets will be mailed from Western's Visual Production Center to each graduate, with instructions for ordering photos.

Accommodations - Macomb

Those needing special accommodations during any of the Macomb ceremonies should contact Angela LaFrance at

Accommodations - QC

Individuals needing special accommodations for the Quad Cities ceremony should contact Temia Rice at WIU-Quad Cities via email at Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Additional information about the WIU-QC Commencement ceremony is available at

Health & Safety

All ceremonies will follow protocols required by Restore Illinois. Social distancing, and face coverings will be required for all participants, guests and staff. Students and guests must also complete the self-check at before arriving on campus.

Students or guests should not attend Commencement if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath), have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

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