Western Washington University invites the community to join the virtual celebration of spring and winter graduates on Saturday, June 13, in two online ceremonies featuring video clips from family and faculty, an interactive social media stream, and searchable, personalized slides for graduates.
The prerecorded ceremonies will premiere online Saturday: the winter ceremony at 10 a.m. and the spring ceremony at noon, at https://registrar.wwu.edu/virtual-ceremony-stream. A 20-minute preshow will precede each ceremony.
About 1,919 undergraduates and 141 master’s candidates will graduate Saturday. Another 682 winter graduates will be honored as well.
The ceremonies will be recorded and available for viewing throughout the month of June and will be broadcast in English, with closed-captioning and Spanish translation available. Graduates, families and faculty can create virtual watch parties to share the experience online.
The ceremony won’t closely resemble Western’s traditional in-person commencement celebrations in Carver Gymnasium. The programs were recorded outside on Western’s Bellingham campus in mid- to late May and include short speeches by President Sabah Randhawa, a student speaker and other dignitaries. The student speaker for the winter ceremony is Mia Steben, who majored in journalism, and spring’s speaker Kortney Danson, who earned a degree in exceptionality and disability.
Another highlight will be video montages of congratulations from faculty, staff and families. Families were asked to submit short clips of themselves celebrating their graduates, and more than 800 of them sent in videos. Many, many of these videos are included in a celebratory montage, and all the video submissions from faculty, staff and family will be available for viewing at wwu.edu/2020grads.
Graduates who made reservations for the ceremonies also receive a personalized slide with their name, degree information, and a photo they submitted, along with their name read by a professional name reader. The slides will be displayed during the ceremonies and searchable, so graduates will be able to see their slide as well as others.
Throughout both ceremonies, there will be a moderated social media feed on the screen displaying Instagram photos with the hashtag #WWUGrad.
Graduates who made a reservation for virtual commencement also received a Commencement Kit in the mail, with a letter from President Sabah Randhawa, a license plate frame, a commemorative ticket and a program. Spring grads also received a graduation cap and tassel while master’s students received their academic hoods.
With a virtual celebration, families and households will be the center of commencement celebrations. Graduates and their families can find downloadable signs and other tips for celebrating at home at www.wwu.edu/2020grads, which also has information on how graduates can submit items to be included in the Memory Walk time capsule.
Two colleges at Western will host their own virtual commencement celebrations. Huxley College of the Environment will celebrate its graduates at huxley.wwu.edu/huxley-graduation-celebration-2020 and information about Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies’ online ceremony will be at fairhaven.wwu.edu/graduation-information.