In lieu of our 73rd annual spring commencement on May 16, Wilkes University will celebrate your graduation on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. This new time frame allows us to combine our spring and summer commencements during one momentous occasion when we can all be together again.
All spring and summer graduate students earning master’s and doctoral degrees will
receive their diplomas at a 10 a.m. ceremony. Spring and summer undergraduate students
earning bachelor’s degrees will be awarded diplomas at a 3 p.m. ceremony. As long as the weather is in our favor, both ceremonies will be preceded by the traditional
procession of graduating students, led by bagpipers, from the Marts Center through
the Campus Gateway to the McHale Athletic Center at UCOM.
Please note that we are committed to the new date for our commencement ceremonies, but this plan will remain dependent on the guidance of national and local health officials. It is clear that the coronavirus will continue to be part of our lives. For a myriad of reasons, we hope the regional, national and global health situation is in a better place by September. All of our decisions will be guided by the most current health and scientific information available. We will continue to communicate with graduates and their families.
Caps and gowns for May graduates have been mailed to your home address. If you are a May graduate and you haven’t ordered your cap and gown, you may do so on the website until May 15. Though the spring ceremony is delayed, the date in which degrees are conferred, May 16, goes unchanged, as long as your academic requirements are met. Please know that we are committed to celebrating you from afar on and leading up to May 16. Please monitor your Wilkes email and our social media accounts for more information about the ways in which we will recognize the Class of 2020.
Caps and gowns are ordered from Oak Hall. Orders can be placed online at wilkes.shopoakhalli.com.
The academic costume looks best when worn over dark shoes and dark lower garments. The collar of a white shirt or blouse complements the academic robe nicely. Members of the Student Affairs staff will be available at the Arnaud C. Marts Center to help graduates with robing. If you wish to iron the academic costume, do so with a cool iron. Do not worry about how to "don" the hood - we will help with that on Commencement Day.
Commencement at the University Center on Main (UCOM)
Commencement ceremonies will be held at the McHale Athletic Center (MAC) in the University Center on Main (UCOM) at 169 South Main Street. The ceremony for graduate students will begin at 10 a.m. The Bachelor's degree ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Doors to the MAC will open at 9 a.m. for the 10 a.m. ceremony and 2 p.m. for the 3 p.m. ceremony. The MAC will close between ceremonies for cleaning and preparations.
Admission to the 3 p.m. ceremony (Bachelors) will be by ticket only. Each graduate will be issued seven (7) tickets for the MAC. Auxiliary viewing areas in UCOM will provide guests without tickets the opportunity to watch the ceremony on a livestream broadcast. Tickets are not required for the alternate viewing sites. Should a graduate wish to have a few more tickets, the University will try to fulfill that request. Tickets will not be required for the 10 a.m. graduate student ceremony.
University staff and ushers will be positioned at information tables in the lobby to answer questions from families and guests. At the conclusion of both ceremonies, the graduates will recess to the East Campus Gateway.
Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages are prohibited inside the Marts Center. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all University parking lots.
A reception for graduates and their families will be held on campus immediately following each ceremony.
Those attending commencement, and its related activities should note that Wilkes University restricts support animals from public events on campus, with the exception of service animals. Students and visitors accompanied by their service animal shall be accommodated in all commencement venues. Students and visitors must adhere to University guidelines regarding the use of a service animal while on campus.
Assembly of Graduates
Please be on time for the line-up of graduates. Those who are not in line in academic regalia as the procession begins will not be able to march in the parade of graduates with their classmates.
Masters and Doctoral students will assemble at the Arnaud C. Marts Center (274 South Franklin Street) beginning at 8:30 a.m. The final line-up of graduates will begin at 9:15 a.m. Graduates will leave from the Arnaud C. Marts Center to process to the University Center on Main (UCOM) at 9:45 a.m. Do not bring valuables to the Arnaud C. Marts Center as there will be no place to lock them away.
Bachelors Degree graduates will assemble at the Arnaud C. Marts Center (274 South Franklin Street) beginning at 1:30 p.m. The final line-up of graduates will begin at 2:15 p.m. Graduates will leave from the Arnaud C. Marts Center to process to the University Center on Main (UCOM) at 2:45 p.m. Do not bring valuables to the Arnaud C. Marts Center as there will be no place to lock them away.
We know some of you are eager to receive your diploma before the fall. For the convenience of all of our spring graduates, diplomas will be mailed in June. You will still walk across the stage and receive a representation of your degree in September. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas at the September ceremony, or by mail afterwards if they have chosen to be in absentia.
The Deans for Student Affairs will announce the names of the graduates in alphabetical order by college, honors status, and major. Graduates will be placed in line for the academic procession according to where their names appear in the commencement program. The University makes every attempt to present each graduate with his/her diploma. Should you receive someone else's diploma by mistake, please see the Registrar at the end of the ceremony at the stage. Graduates with outstanding debts to the University will not receive their diploma until the debt is satisfied.
Earl and Sedor Photography will take a photograph of each graduate when the President awards the diploma. Earl and Sedor will provide information to all graduates as to how they can access their proofs online. No one, except for the professional photographer and the media with appropriate credentials, will be allowed near the stage area for the purpose of taking photographs or videotaping.
The commencement ceremony will be videotaped. The video will be archived on the University's website for later viewing.
All University parking lots will be open and available for parking on Commencement day. The University will operate its shuttles prior to and after the ceremonies to assist guests moving from the parking lots to the University Center on Main (UCOM) and back. Parking for persons with disabilities is available at the parking lot for the Karambelas Media and Communication Center (141 South Main Street).
Special Assistance Seating
Special seating for guests with mobility impairments is available on the floor and on the first level of the stands at the Marts Center. Because of space constraints one escort may accompany the mobility-impaired individual to the special seating area. Arrangements for disability seating can be made by dialing the Office of Student Affairs at (570) 408-4100 no later than September 9, 2020.
Faculty should arrive at the Karambelas Media and Communication Center (141 South Main Street) by 9 a.m. for the Graduate ceremony and 2 p.m. for the Bachelors ceremony. Faculty will proceed to the lower level and follow directions to the Faculty Robing Area.
If you have questions please call the Office of Student Affairs at (570) 408-4100. In case of an emergency on Commencement weekend please call Public Safety at (570) 408-4999