Ellensburg A.M. Ceremony Participation Information

College of Business, College of Education and Professional Studies Majors

8:15 AM Students arrive in cap and gown at SURC (no later than 8:15 AM)
9:00 AM Processional begins
9:30 AM Processional enters stadium
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Ceremony Begins
11:30 AM (approximately) Recessional of faculty and graduates exit the stadium

Graduates should arrive in cap and gown at the SURC east entrance (by the wildcat statue) no later than 8:15am. Please arrive early as the processional will begin promptly.

Name cards may be picked up at the SURC info center June 9 -12 from 8am – 5pm or picked up at check-in on Commencement day. You must bring your name card with you to the staging location and carry it into the ceremony. Name cards are only created for graduates who have registered to participate in commencement, so make sure that you have done so prior to May 10th.

You will receive your diploma cover during the Commencement ceremony. It will NOT have your diploma inside. Diplomas will be mailed after grades have been checked (approximately 10 weeks).

As you are preparing for the Processional, we would like to encourage you to send messages to your family and friends via the Twitter hashtag, #CWUGrad. There will be a live Twitter feed to Tomlinson Stadium that will be displayed on the viewing screens. This is a great opportunity for your family and friends to share in your accomplishments.

Commencement is a time for your family and friends to recognize your hard work and accomplishments. We ask that students behave accordingly and provide a good example of what it means to be a CWU Wildcat.

In years past, CWU staff have had to confiscate a few “foreign beverages,” balloons, and other paraphernalia. This can interrupt the ceremony and take away from the celebration, so please save your personal celebration until after commencement.Enjoy the moment and the experience! This is your day. Be Proud!

We enjoy having family and friends at the Commencement ceremonies, but children are not allowed to process or sit with the graduates during the ceremony.

All Undergraduates must wear official CWU regalia (cap and gown) in order to be eligible to walk. Due to the possibility of Ellensburg winds, we recommend the use of bobby-pins to secure your cap. Graduates without proper attire will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. We recommend that you dress comfortably and wear flat shoes. You will be walking on the field and heels are likely to sink into the grass. Staff members will be available if you need assistance, however, there are no indoor dressing facilities available. If rain is in the forecast, you may want to consider wearing older clothing under your gown, as water may cause your gown to bleed. Remember that you will be sitting outside, possibly under a hot sun, a light rain, or a strong wind. Please dress accordingly.

The tassel is worn on the right-hand side throughout the ceremony. Tassels will be moved from right to left when the ASCWU President indicates confirmation of degrees. You will receive your tassel with your cap and gown.

Honors Tassels are given to students who qualify for honors based on the GPA of all credits earned at CWU, as well as all transfer credits accepted by CWU. This calculation is based on Winter 2020 grades. Master’s and post-baccalaureate students are not eligible for honors. Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, and Spring 2020 undergraduate candidates who are graduating with academic honors may pick up an honors tassel from Registrar Services (or a university center office) with photo ID after May 2nd. Honors tassels will not be available at Commencement.

Rain or shine, Commencement will be held outside in Tomlinson Stadium. The ceremony will only be adjusted or rescheduled in the case of extreme weather. Should this occur, tune to the local radio station or check the CWU website at www.cwu.edu.

Commencement will be broadcast on Channel 2, as well as live-streamed online (www.cwu.edu/video). If you want to record it, it should take approximately two hours.


Undergraduate processional lines will begin at the SURC and walk up Walnut Mall to Tomlinson Stadium. You will line up and be led by college in two rows. Your name card will be color-coded to ensure that you are in the proper ceremony and lined up accordingly. This will also ensure that your Dean and faculty will be able to locate and congradulate you. CWU staff will be present to guide you.

Student marshals will lead the processional and recessional, as well as assist with the ceremony. They will be in silver caps and gowns and will aid you during the entire commencement experience.

Thirty minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, the processional lines will begin moving toward the stadium. The order of the processional will be:

  1. Faculty in two lines
  2. Undergraduates in two lines
  3. Faculty Marshal (with the University Mace)
  4. The Presidential Platform Party

During the processional, please remember:

  • It is important that you stay in your line.
  • The Student Marshals may pause and hold your line at different locations for spacing and timing with other lines.
  • Do not move into the seats until you are directed to by the Student Marshals.
  • Chair rows will be filled from front to back. Continue to the furthest open chair without leaving any empty.
  • A bottle of water will be provided beneath your chair.

Commencement programs will be available during line-up in the SURC, should you wish to carry a copy with you up to the stadium. The complete commencement program will also be available electronically prior to the ceremony.


Please remain seated until directed to rise. The Student Marshals will dismiss you by row. All groups will exit down the center aisle and out of Tomlinson Stadium.

The order of the recessional is:

  1. The Faculty Marshal (with the University Mace)
  2. The Presidential Platform Party
  3. The Faculty (faculty will form a congratulatory line for all graduates to walk through as they leave the field)
  4. Undergraduates (Last row will exit first)

Please note that we will be setting up for the second ceremony immediately following the first, so the field and gates will be closing 11:45 a.m. Please have your guests exit promptly and direct them to meet you at the front (south) side of Nicholson Pavillion.