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Spring and Fall Ceremonies

FAQ for Postponed Spring 2020 Commencement 


Yes! There will be a Commencement ceremony to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our Spring 2020 graduating class; however, we will reschedule it for a time when we are able to do so in a healthy and safe environment. We will communicate as soon as possible about next steps to ensure that everyone involved can make travel plans. 

Your cap and gown was included in your graduation fee. Beginning Monday, April 6, you can request that the WKU Store ship your regalia to your current address. Given the unique circumstances, WKU will be providing this service at no cost to graduates. 

To place an order, please visit https://wkustore.com/

The postponement of May 2020 Commencement does not affect the semester completion date for our students, nor does it affect the timeline for degree conferral. As such, May 2020 graduates should expect to receive their diplomas in the mail within 4-8 weeks from the end of the spring semester. For questions or concerns about student diplomas, please contact the WKU Registrar’s office by emailing registrar@wku.edu.







Graduates pick up their regalia during the designated dates for the Grad Fair. Students unable to attend Grad Fair may pick up their regalia from the WKU Store. The next date for the Grad Fair will be available after a date for Commencement is announced.

The Spring 2020 Special Recognition Ceremonies will be announced at a later date.

Each WKU academic college will hold Special Recognition Ceremonies the day after commencement, where each graduate will be recognized individually as they  "walk the line."  All graduates and families are encouraged and welcome to attend.  See the Commencement events schedule for a listing of times of each Special Recognition Ceremony.

Graduates should come dressed in full regalia to the Saturday Ceremonies.

 The Saturday Special Recognition Ceremonies will take place indoors in E.A. Diddle Arena.  Students will "walk the line," and have the opportunity to be recognized individually for their accomplishments.  Official commencement photographs will be taken at this time.

Undergraduate students who maintain outstanding academic achievement are recognized at commencement by wearing red and white honor cords. Criteria for graduation honors are described in the undergraduate catalog in the section entitled "Recognition of Academic Achievement."

Associate Degree Recognition:

  • With Distinction
  • With High Distinction

Baccalaureate Degree Recognition

  • Cum Laude
  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Summa Cum Laude

Honors College Graduate:
Awarded to students who are graduates of the WKU Mahurin Honors College

Scholar of the College:
Awarded to the student(s) with the highest GPA from each college

Ogden Foundation Scholar Award

Graduate Student Recognition:
John D. Minton Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Contributions to Western Kentucky University

Your diploma is symbolic of the completion of your degree. The WKU diploma lists only the name of the degree and not the specific major.

The 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 graduates will be mailed approximately 3-6 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 the campus. Final transcripts and diplomas will not be issued to students with outstanding obligations.

Recognition Ceremonies and other special celebrations are organized separately by the individual colleges. The recognition ceremonies usually occur on the Saturday after commencement at the following times:

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

Questions about a college's ceremony, can be directed to the Dean's office of the college.

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.
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.




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.

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.

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

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 4/5/20