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What Graduates Need to Know

Graduation Day

Venue and Tickets

The 2020 commencement ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Graves Family Sports Complex. Tickets are required for all guests of the graduates, maximum of four per graduate. Graduates were required to RSVP (see Commencement front page) and RSVP's were closed Aug. 3. 

Processional and Marching Order

All graduates and faculty should report to Muir Gym by 8:15 am to form the lines of march for the processional.  Doors open at 7:30 am.  Everyone must be temperature screened prior to entry so please allow enough time for this. A marching order will be available during the line-up for Commencement. 

Class Photo & More

A Class of 2020 photo will be taken at the Graves Family Sports Complex immediately following the commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 15. To better allow families to enjoy the commencement ceremony and ensure the safety of all guests in the arena, a professional photographer will take the photos of all graduates as they process across the stage. All graduates will be able to download their FREE and PROFESSIONAL graduation photos (including the class photo) in the days following graduation. Specific instructions will be made available on the main graduation page as soon as possible.  

Academic Attire and Honor Cords

Caps and gowns were ordered by the K-Dub Hub based on information submitted on the graduation application, and were sent to each graduate in the celebration box shipped in May. Please be sure to bring these with you for the August ceremony.

Undergraduate candidates should wear their tassels on the RIGHT side until the president of the university confers the degree, at which time the tassel is moved to the left side. The mortarboard on the cap should be parallel to the ground (FLAT), not sitting on the back of the head. Bobby pins will be available in the second-floor hallway of the Hall of the Pioneers. Faculty will be glad to help you position your cap appropriately.

Your cap MUST be worn during the academic procession, ceremony and recessional. Men should remove caps during prayer, National Anthem, or other specified times as noted by the president.

MBA candidates will be “hooded” at Commencement and may not wear their hood until presented with it, on-stage, during the Commencement ceremony.

Undergraduate candidates with graduation honors will wear an honor cord over their gowns. Cords were included in the celebration box in May. 

Undergraduate candidates may keep their caps and gowns as well as honor cords. Graduate candidates may keep their caps, gowns and hoods.

Honor Cord Colors

Summa Cum Laude (3.90- 4.00 GPA) candidates wear a purple and gold braided honor cord.

Magna Cum Laude (3.75- 3.89 GPA) candidates wear a purple honor cord.

Cum Laude (3.50-3.74 GPA) candidates wear a gold honor cord.

Marching Order

A marching order will be available during the line-up for Commencement. 

Commencement Ceremony

Academic Procession

Assembly for the academic procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. according to the published “marching order” for candidates, faculty, administration, trustees, and platform party. There will be two lines of processional march. Please know which line you are in and who the line marshal is for your group.

The procession will form in Muir Gym and enter Graves Family Sports Complex through the north gate. BE ON TIME. If an emergency causes you to arrive after the start of the procession, DO NOT ENTER THE PROCESSION LINE. Instead, report to an usher who will seat you. Please leave all purses and valuables with family or friends. Please silence your cell phones. 

The line marshals will direct each row to proceed to the stage area. Each candidate will hand the name card found on your seat to the graduation assistant. After their names are called, candidates will walk across the stage, greet the president, pause for photos, and then return to their appropriate rows and seats, staying in the same order.


Diploma covers were in the celebration box mailed to each graduate in May. Official diplomas were mailed in June by the Office of the Registrar to the permanent address on file in the Office of Student Financial Planning. 

Conferring of Degrees

At the direction of the provost, the candidates rise, face the platform, and remain standing. The provost presents the class to the president of the university. The president confers the degrees (all at the same time) and the candidates move their tassel from the right to the left side of their cap. The provost will signal when to be seated.


Following the benediction, the marshals will direct the participants in the recessional to exit the ceremony. 

Baccalaureate & More

About Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate is a service of worship for members of the graduating class, their families, faculty, administration, staff, trustees and friends. It is a traditional time of seeding the presence and power of God at a unique moment in the graduate’s life.

The term “baccalaureate” also is the name of the degree colleges and universities confer as a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes a degree is referenced as being at the “baccalaureate” level.

The Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate service was held virtually in 2020

Other Events

Current plans call for the Nurses' Pinning Ceremony to be streamed live on the KWU Student Media Youtube page. A link will be made public on KWU's social media in the days prior to the event.