May 16, 2013
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It's my pleasure to share with you some exciting changes in this year's commencement activities.
Special thanks go to the Alumni Office and the Commencement Task Force, which have encouraged broad participation in commencement planning. A first step to coordination commencement was to replace disparate commencement web pages and forms with a single website (cwu.edu/commencement) where students, employees, and visitors can find everything they need to know about graduation activities. They can watch commencement activities from years ago, register for commencement, or find a hotel room.
The walk to commencement begins at the Student Union and Recreation Center. Bagpipes will lead the way up Walnut Mall, followed by faculty and students. The celebratory path is lined with beautiful banners and the walk will be transmitted live to the CWU website. Students will march into Nicholson Pavilion with others from their colleges. Extra bleacher seating means no lawn chairs will be required. A large new stage will make viewing commencement speakers and students easier and provide a richer multi-media experience, with an improved sound system and large video screens.
Faculty mentors are an essential part of the CWU educational experience, so it's important to support faculty participation. We made information about commencement more accessible than ever through a new web site and special invitations to current and emeriti faculty. We even offered to purchase faculty regalia this year. I'm pleased that a record number of faculty will participate in 2013 commencement.
Commencement also will engage alumni in the festivities surrounding commencement, beginning with an Alumni BBQ Celebration on June 5. The 50-year alumni reunion was moved from Homecoming to commencement weekend. On June 7, the alumni board will award 1963 alumni special medals. Then on Saturday alumni will participate in the commencement procession.
These are just a few of the changes you may note this year. I hope that you find the new look and feel of commencement as exciting as I do and look forward to being a part of the 2013 graduation weekend!
James L. Gaudino