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Commencement 2020

Commencement Information

Access the 2020 Commencement and Nursing Pinning Photos for Free Download Here.

Aug. 6: Commencement is almost here!  All graduates who submitted an RSVP by Aug. 1 that they plan to walk with their class are to gather in Muir Gym to form the line of march.  Doors open at 7:30 am as everyone will need to be temperature screened and receive a KWU wristband required when on campus that day. Bring your cap, gown, any academic or honor cords (and hood if MBA graduate). Please plan to arrive early enough as we will line up at 8:30 am for the procession. Don’t be late!  You DO NOT have to bring any paper tickets.  As guests check in at the SOUTH GATE ticket booth of the Graves Family Sports Complex, all those who have reserved tickets will receive your official admittance tickets for the event.  Remember that the event will be live streamed for those family members and friends who cannot attend in person. 

Aug. 3: TICKET ORDERS HAVE CLOSED.  We have ended all ticket requests for the 2020 Commencement ceremony due to reaching maximum seating capacity. RSVP's are now closed. As a reminder, the ceremony will be live streamed at

July 28: Due to the changing nature of the world, we have continually monitored how best to host an in-person commencement while balancing the health and safety needs of the campus and those in attendance. Last week, we made the difficult decision to limit the number of people attending commencement this year. We looked at multiple locations and scenarios and believe that doing limited tickets at the Graves Family Sports Complex is the best option. Your graduate may be aware of fellow graduates who are attending, but do not plan to use all of their tickets. They may be willing to share. The event will be available for free on live stream. We wish that we could have a typical graduation this year with the nearly 2000 people who usually attend, but that doesn't seem wise in light of recent news. We understand that the changes to the graduation plan creates challenges for people, and sent our recent letter as soon as physically possible after making this decision. Please be sure to keep checking the KWU website for any graduation updates.

July 23: You must RSVP by July 31. Tickets will be required.Each graduate will be given four complimentary guest tickets to the Commencement ceremony. In accordance with recent nationwide practices regarding COVID-19 mitigation, including those at nationally known athletics and other events, tickets will be strictly limited to four per graduate. This will enable social distancing inside the Graves Family Sports Complex.

July 20 Update: We are pleased to announce that, after tabulating the senior class' survey responses, the traditional commencement has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 15 at the Graves Family Sports Complex. We look forward to celebrating with our graduates and their families! To read the latest information regarding the ceremony and its expectations, please click here

RSVP's for the ceremony were closed Aug. 3. 

What You Need to Know

To help you prepare for Commencement, detailed information for both graduates and their guests is provided. Follow the links below to find more information.

For Graduates

For Guests

Order Your Announcements

If you wish to purchase graduation announcements, you may order them from CB Announcements or another company of your choice. You may also make your own.

If you choose to make your own, official KWU logos are available from the Marketing Communications Office. Contact Amanda Colgrove by emailing or calling (785) 833-4345.

Graduation Requirements

To participate in the 2020 Commencement ceremony, eligible graduates should complete the graduation application.

Complete the Graduation Application

Each degree candidate is personally responsible for completing all steps (exams, exit interviews, etc.) as required for graduation from Kansas Wesleyan University. All outstanding debts to the university must be paid in the Business Office prior to graduation. Stop by the Business Office and ask for a "Refund Request Form." Refunds of you general deposit will be made after deduction of any unpaid charges. Please refer to the official university catalog for additional information.

2020 Commencement Speaker:
Michael P. Gonzales

Michael Gonzales ’84 will be this year’s Kansas Wesleyan University commencement speaker. Gonzales, a member of the KWU Board of Trustees, is a businessman with over 25 years of executive-level experience in leading organizational change. He worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in numerous high-ranking roles. In his 30-plus years at the USDA, he was instrumental in leading the innovation of various transformational programs including workforce planning, workload management analysis and performance management that earned recognition as some of the premiere programs in the federal government. He also earned recognition for developing the most comprehensive strategic plan in the USDA. During his career, Gonzales has led organizations of over 2,000 employees, administered budgets of over $2 billion and implemented and designed policies that led to positive nationwide-level effects. He retired in 2017.

Gonzales also served 21 years in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves, serving as an Airborne Ranger Intelligence Officer.  During his military career, he served and commanded at the tactical, operational, strategic and joint-services levels. 

Gonzales graduated from KWU in 1984 with a degree in business administration and a concentration in economics. He earned his master’s degree from American University in 2000. He currently serves as a Senior Consultant - Human Resources and Organizational Change for Savantage Solutions in Kansas City, Mo. In addition to his role on KWU’s Board of Trustees, he  also serves on the Board of Directors for Mercy & Truth Medical Missions, a non-profit that provides health care to the uninsured and under-served in the Kansas City area. He and his wife, Wendy live in Overland Park, Kan. and have three daughters: Taylor, Casey, and Kolbi, all of whom are collegiate student-athletes.