Ceremony Day

Ceremony Accessibility

Detailed information about accessibility requests can be found on the Ceremony Accessibility page.

Masks Encouraged

Masks are strongly encouraged for large indoor gatherings, so you may wish to bring your mask (and tell your guests).

Graduate Information

What to expect BEFORE the ceremony

What time do I need to be on campus?

Report to Red Square to line up for the procession into Carver. You will need to arrive 45 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony to pick up your name card. Follow the signs for your college and get your name card alphabetically by last name. Commencement staff will give instructions to line up for the procession.

(Your family and friends can go directly to Carver. The doors will open one hour prior to the ceremony.)

What do I need to bring?

  • Your graduation regalia, including gown, hood (for graduate students), cap, and tassel. If you have not yet purchased your regalia, please visit the WWU AS Bookstore website as soon as possible to place your order. Make sure you have your cap and gown before June 9 to ensure you're able to participate in your ceremony.
  • Something to add to the time capsule.
  • Your smile. Professional photographers will be taking photos.
  • Note that masks are strongly encouraged for large indoor gatherings, so you may wish to bring your mask (and tell your guests).

What to expect DURING the ceremony


The procession from Red Square to Carver starts each ceremony. 


Speakers at the ceremony include the president, the faculty senate president, the Board of Trustees, and a student speaker.

Walk Across

The walk across is the portion of the ceremony where graduates have their name read as they walk across the stage.


Graduates hand their name card to the dean reading names at the podium, the president hands the graduate their diploma cover, the graduate can turn toward the camera for a photo, the graduate walks off the stage and is directed to a green screen at the back of the facility for another photo, this photo is maskless. A graduate is then directed back to their chair.

Ceremony Length

Ceremonies will last approximately one hour.

Recession and Memory Walk

At the end of ceremony, graduates will recess from the facility and be led through campus to the Memory Walk. You are encouraged to bring an item to place in the Memory Walk box. The Memory Walk has been a commencement tradition at Western Washington University since 1912. Each year, a stone representing the graduating class is laid along the Memory Walk—which is the sidewalk that runs parallel to the façade of Old Main. Beneath each of these class stones lies a time capsule. Graduates are invited to leave items reflective of their time at Western in the time capsule. That capsule will be buried beneath the stone bearing their class year.

Guest Information

For those guests attending in-person, no tickets are needed for June Commencement and it will be open seating. Doors open one hour prior to each ceremony, and guests should be seated ten minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Entrances will be closed while the graduates process into Carver. Doors will reopen when the procession is complete. Balloons are not allowed in the gym due to the fire sprinkler system. Thank you for complying.

Parking and Directions

Directions and Maps can be found on the Commencement Parking page.

Dining and Retail Hours

Friday, June 10
VU Market  8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
VU Café  7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Subway  11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Atrium POD Market   9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Atrium Starbucks  9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
WWU AS Bookstore - 20% Discount! 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 11
VU Café 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Atrium POD Market  8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Atrium Starbucks 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
WWU AS Bookstore - 20% Discount! 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Sunday June 12
VU Café 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Atrium POD Market  9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Atrium Starbucks 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
WWU AS Bookstore - 20% Discount! 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Contact the Commencement Team