WSU Tri-Cities Commencement 2016
Seniors and Graduate Students:
Celebrate the completion of your degree by walking in the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The Commencement ceremony starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. and is expected to last approximately two hours. No tickets are required. Please invite your family and friends to join you at this exciting event!
Please complete this form if you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The commencement ceremony is different from the actual graduation process.
- Commencement refers to the ceremony, which is an opportunity for students to share the excitement and importance of their academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends.
- Graduation is the process of paying a fee to get your actual degree and finish your requirements. Participation in the commencement ceremony is not a guarantee or an indication of degree completion. To officially graduate from WSU, students must satisfy all university, college, and departmental requirements for the specific degree. Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript, not by your participation in commencement exercises.
We will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. and anticipate the ceremony to last approximately two hours. Commencement is a family oriented event. No tickets are needed – bring your family and friends!
Graduates need to arrive by noon in their caps and gowns – eat lunch first and travel light, as there is not a secure area for personal items.
Please invite your family and friends as there is no seating limit per graduate. Guest seating is in sections P through Z on the main concourse. Guests will be prohibited from the Toyota Center floor and the staging area.
Seating for disabled guests is located in sections A, B and R and Toyota Center staff will be available to assist guests to the designated areas. Students who will need accommodations during commencement need to contact the Disability Coordinator at 509-372-7351 by May 5.
General Information for the Ceremony
You will complete an information card when you line up. You will hand this card to an announcer who will be read it as you cross the stage to receive your diploma jacket. Keep this card with you until you reach the announcer. Do not take a commencement program with you during the processional as one will be waiting for you on your seat. Remember to leave purses, cameras and other valuables with your guests. If you have any questions while at the event, please look for one of the commencement assistants.
Eat lunch before commencement and travel light. There is not a secure area to store personal items.
When to be Where
Toyota Center 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA
Undergraduates: Be in your cap and gown and report by 12:00 p.m. to the south side of the lower level at the Public Skating area. Commencement assistants will be available to direct you to the correct location. Your tassel should be on the right side of your cap. Signs with individual disciplines will be posted along the lower level hallway. Find your degree title on the sign (i.e., Business, Education, etc.) and stay there for further instructions. You will be seated according to discipline, but you may march and sit by anyone within your degree unit.
Graduate Students: Be in your cap and gown and report by 12:00 p.m. on the north side of the lower level at the Public Skating area. Commencement assistants will be available to direct you to the correct location. Your tassel will be on the left side of your cap. You will be marching according to discipline. Find the appropriate sign for your degree and stay there for further instructions. You will be given verbal instructions for the hooding ceremony on stage
Students who will need accommodations during commencement need to contact the Disability Coordinator at 509.372.7352 as soon as possible to make prior arrangements.
A professional photographer will take a photo of each graduate receiving his or her diploma cover. Photographs will be available later by mail on an optional basis at reasonable cost.
Guests: An area will be designated in sections A and N to allow guests to take photos during the ceremony. Please remind your guests that once they have taken the picture, they are to return to their original seats.
The academic procession begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. Again, please don’t bring anything with you except your information card—no purses, cameras, etc. The graduate students will lead the procession, followed by the undergraduate students and then the University administrators, faculty and dignitaries. Everyone will proceed single file. Students will be directed, by ushers, to the appropriate seating in front of the stage. When you reach the seating section, remember to move all the way over into the row of chairs so that your entire row of chairs is full. Everyone will remain standing until after the National Anthem has been sung (men should remove their caps during the Anthem).
After the commencement address, each row of students will be directed to the platform by an usher. Do not take anything with you except your information card. You will give their information card to the assistant at the edge of the stage and your name will be announced as you walk across the stage. You will stop in front of the University leader on the stage, extend your left hand to receive your diploma cover, and shake hands with your right hand. (Graduate students will be hooded prior to receiving a diploma cover.) Next you will shake hands with other dignitaries. Once everyone in your row has reached his or her original seat, then your row will be seated all at once. The ceremony will last about two hours.
After the Ceremony
During the recessional, administrators, dignitaries, faculty and graduates, by row, will be ushered out single file back through the Public Skating area and up the stairs to the main concourse level. After the recessional has concluded, you may greet your guests on the main concourse level.
Returning your Regalia
You must return your regalia to the Bookie or be charged full purchase price. You may do so at the Toyota Center after the event.
Read more about the specific details regarding Academic Costume Codes.
Cumulative GPA of:
- 3.90 or higher = summa cum laude
- 3.70 – 3.89 = magma cum laude
- 3.50 – 3.69 = cum laude
The appropriate Latin phrase will be printed on the undergraduate diploma and on the final transcript.
The Office of Academic Affairs at WSU Tri-Cities will be providing the honor cords to qualified undergraduate candidates free of charge. Honor cords can be picked up in the West Building, Room 263F. The honor cords will be awarded to those students participating in the May 2016 commencement who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher as of December 2015.
Seating for disable guests is located in Section R with additional seating on the floor. Toyota center staff will be available to assist guests to the designated area. However, it is strongly recommended that guests needing extra time to be seated, should plan to arrive by 12:30 p.m. Guests who will need seating on the floor will not be allowed to enter during the academic procession.
The WSU Alumni Association keeps you connected to the university. Members get access to exclusive career tools, special events and more. Become a member!
Each year the various colleges select a student to lead their degree candidates and carry their school’s gonfalon at the WSU Tri-Cities Commencement ceremony. Read about these amazing graduates:
- Carson College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Engineering
Contact the Career Development Office for more information.