Commencement and Summer Hours
- Monday, March 15th, 2021
Commencement provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and persistence of our students and to celebrate our core mission of transforming lives through the WKU Experience. It is a reminder of why we work so hard the other 364 days of the year and the collective outcome our individual roles create. As I shared previously, this May we will gather in-person as a Hilltopper Family to recognize our graduates’ tremendous achievements, and we look forward to celebrating all those who completed their degrees in both 2020 and 2021.
Although distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is underway, it’s imperative that we continue following our Healthy on the Hill guidelines until advised otherwise by health officials. With the understanding that spring 2021 Commencement activities will look different from years past (decreased capacity, physical distancing and masks), our planning team has worked diligently to engage our graduates and identify the commencement elements most important to them. Their priorities have shaped our priorities, and the team used their feedback to guide our planning, which I am pleased to share with the WKU Community today:
Dates, Times and Locations
Fall 2020 and spring and summer 2021 graduates
Saturday, May 1, at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium
10am – Gordon Ford Business College; College of Health and Human Services
6pm – Potter College of Arts and Letters; College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Ogden College of Science and Engineering
Spring and summer 2020 graduates
Saturday, May 8, location TBD
10am – all colleges
Tickets and Registration
We understand the significance of family and friends witnessing their graduate’s degree conferral. With capacity limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, graduates will receive four tickets, distributed by text message, for guests to be seated in L.T. Smith Stadium. Additionally, on May 1, a limited number of overflow seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis inside Diddle Arena where the ceremony will be shown on the video boards. If Diddle Arena reaches capacity, any additional guests will be directed to the South Lawn to view the live stream.
Because individual recognition is incredibly important to our graduates, we are introducing an exciting, new component to our celebration. In collaboration with Full Measure, every graduate will be honored on the video screen during the ceremony with a self-submitted photo or video. We ask that all graduates update and double-check their cell phone number and email in TopNet as all information for graduates will arrive via text. Additionally, Topper Walk continues this year with a special pre-ceremony walk alongside fellow college graduates.
Faculty and Staff Participation
Faculty are encouraged to participate in their college ceremony as usual and will have designated seating in the stadium. Representatives from the Commencement planning team will share more specifics within their areas regarding faculty and staff participation.
Where to Find More Information
I encourage our WKU Community to stay up to date on our commencement activities by visiting: https://www.wku.edu/commencement/.
Looking beyond Commencement, we will continue our tradition of a reduced 34-hour workweek for employees during summer 2021. The summer period runs Monday, May 10, through Friday, August 13, 2021. Official business hours across our campuses will remain 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday. Employees should work with their supervisors and within their units to create their individual summer schedules, including the option of enjoying a three-day weekend each week, while accommodating both their personal needs and the needs of WKU offices and units.
Thank you for the work you do to prepare our Hilltopppers for their futures. I hope the summer hours provide you with additional time to enjoy the warm weather, refresh and prepare for a new academic year.
Timothy C. Caboni