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Frequently Asked Questions: Fall Ceremonies

For students graduating in the Fall of 2019 (December), Special Recognition Ceremonies will be held by each college on Saturday, December 14th in E.A. Diddle Arena where students will "walk the line" and be individually recognized.  

All Fall 2019 graduates are welcome to return to campus to participate in the annual Topper Walk and Commencement Celebration that will take place on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Graduates should attend their college's individual ceremony that will take place on Saturday in Diddle Arena.  See times here.  Families and friends are welcome to attend as well.  This is where you will "walk the line," and be individually recognized.

Some academic departments will hold separate special events.  As we are made aware of special events, we will list them on the special celebrations web page.  If you are unsure if your department is holding an event, please contact them directly.

“Graduation” is the term for completing your course of study at the university and fulfilling the requirements for your degree.

“Commencement” refers to the university-wide ceremony celebrating those who are receiving their degrees from Western Kentucky University. At WKU the official annual "Commencement Ceremony" takes place in May.

“Recognition Ceremonies” refers to the individual ceremonies held by each college to recognize graduates of the various programs they house. At WKU these ceremonies are hosted in both December and May.

Recognition Ceremonies and other special celebrations are organized separately by the individual colleges. These will occur on Saturday, December 14th in E.A. Diddle Arena at the following times:

  • 8:00 am Gordon Ford College of Business
  • 10:30 am Potter College of Arts and Letters
  • 1:00 pm Ogden College of Science and Engineering
  • 3:30 pm College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • 6:00 pm College of Health and Human Services

If you have questions about your college's Saturday ceremony, please contact the Dean's office of the college directly.

We are happy to offer special accommodations for guests and graduates. Please refer to the Accessibility page for this information.
WKU PBS will live broadcast commencement and recognition ceremonies. These ceremonies will also be live streamed via the WKU Facebook Page and the WKU YouTube Channel. Afterward, these broadcasts will be archived on the YouTube Channel for later viewing.
When you line up for your special ceremony on Saturday, you will be given a slip of paper (or you might have already been given one if you attended the Grad Fair).  We recommend writing your name phonetically on the slip of paper so the person reading the names will pronounce your name correctly.
Academic regalia can be picked up at the annual Grad Fair event (October 23-24, 10 am - 5 pm in the Augenstein Alumni Center) or by visiting the WKU Store on campus.
You will be contacted directly by your college to tell you where to assemble for your college for recognition ceremony held on Saturday.
A photographer will be available at each Recognition Ceremony and will take your picture after you walk the line.  We request that guests remain in their seats during all ceremonies.

Your diploma will be mailed to you at the address listed on your Application for Graduation; however, if the address to which the diploma is to be mailed has changed since filing the graduation application, update the diploma address on TopNet immediately by selecting the Personal Information tab, View/Update Address(es) and Phone(s), click the down arrow for Type of Address to insert, select diploma address, then select submit. If there are any problems updating your address, please contact Leslie Vanderpool at (270) 745-5411. Diplomas for undergraduates will be mailed approximately 3-6 weeks following commencement.  Graduate diplomas will be mailed 6-8 weeks following commencement.

Please make certain all obligations such as the return of books to the library, arrangements for repayment of loans, parking tickets, etc., have been fulfilled prior to leaving campus. Final transcripts and diplomas will not be issued to students with outstanding obligations.

If you have additional questions, please email registrar@wku.edu or call (270) 745-3351

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 Last Modified 9/17/19