CWU News

2018 CWU Commencement Ceremonies Begin June 8

It’s time for the Clan Gordon Pipers to spiff up their sporrans and warm up their bagpipes. This June, more than 3,000 Wildcats will receive degrees at Central Washington University’s 126th Commencement. While President James L. Gaudino will preside over the ceremonies, each celebration offers a unique array of speakers and guests.

At 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 8, in Nicholson Pavilion, Master’s and Education Specialists (EdS) recipients will participate in the Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony. Tatiana Kruse will sing the National Anthem, and Kevin Archer, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, will present the Dale and Mary Jo Comstock Distinguished Thesis Award. Student speakers Sam McManis, Lindsay Millward, and Lisa Wilding will address the audience.

On Saturday, June 9, there will be two undergraduate commencement ceremonies on the Ellensburg campus. The 9:30 a.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Education and Professional Studies and the College of Business. The 2:00 p.m. ceremony will honor graduates of the College of the Arts and Humanities and the College of the Sciences.

For both the morning and afternoon ceremonies, Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib will issue the commencement address, and Grammy Award-winner and CWU alumnus, Michael “The Wanz” Wansley, will sing the National Anthem. Director of Bands Lewis Norfleet will direct the CWU Wind Ensemble in the National Anthem and the Alma Mater.

The student speaker for the morning ceremony will be Alexis Everett and the speaker for the afternoon ceremony will be Nenay Norawong.

Social media buffs will be happy to see that the famed Twitter wall will once more be displayed live on the big screen during the Ellensburg ceremonies. There will also be a link on the CWU website for folks at home to follow. Be sure to use #CWUGrad for all commencement-related posts.

At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, graduates from the Puget Sound-area University Centers will take part in the commencement ceremony at the ShoWare Center in Kent. J. Christopher Lytle, executive director of the Port of Oakland, California, and 1979 alumnus of CWU’s North Central Campus, will give the commencement address. The student speaker will be Tony Brito. Michael Wansley will perform the National Anthem.

As they have since 2013, the Clan Gordon Pipers will provide a rousing escort for graduates at the Ellensburg and Kent commencement events.

For more information about the 2018 Commencement, including parking, seating, and services, please go to

NOTE: Washington State Department of Transportation officials warn of potential travel impacts for students and their families attending CWU’s commencement in Ellensburg next weekend. Lane closures are expected on I-90 from North Bend to the summit. Travelers are urged to leave early and avoid impacted areas during peak periods.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,