Wake Forest Commencement

April 14 Update

Bottom Line Up Front:

  • As previously announced, all undergraduate Commencement activities will take place on Sunday, May 16.
  • Students will participate in one of four Diploma Ceremonies that will take place in Joel Coliseum, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
  • A Commencement Celebration will begin at 8:30 p.m. at Wake Forest’s football stadium, Truist Field.
  • Graduates may register for two guest tickets. Registration will open at noon EDT on April 15.

Dear Class of 2021,

As you work to complete your final semester, many on campus have been collaborating on ways to celebrate your accomplishments. While challenges related to the pandemic may not allow for a traditional Commencement, we are excited to honor your achievements in meaningful ways on Sunday, May 16.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to help make this year successful. Our plans remain contingent on our community’s COVID-19 status, the guidance of public health officials and the guidelines of the state of North Carolina. Please continue to follow our community rules on masks, social distancing and completing asymptomatic testing. As soon as you have the ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so.

The following information pertains to undergraduate Commencement activities. Graduate and professional students will receive separate communication from their schools about graduation events.

Diploma Ceremonies

On May 16, undergraduates will participate in one of four diploma ceremonies at Joel Coliseum. The groupings (detailed below) will allow each graduate to be recognized with others who have the same primary major. These events will feature remarks from University leaders and will include individual recognition while each graduate crosses the stage. Each ceremony will last about one hour.

Because of social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 protocols, you have been placed in the diploma ceremony that corresponds to your degree and/or primary major. We are unable to accommodate any request to switch to a different ceremony. If you have questions about your primary degree or major, you may locate that information in DegreeWorks or by contacting the Office of the Registrar at registrar@nullwfu.edu.

Diploma Ceremony 1

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. (Graduates should arrive at 7:30 a.m.)

Honorees: Seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Science (School of Business) with a primary major in Accountancy, Business and Enterprise Management, Finance, or Mathematical Business.

Diploma Ceremony 2

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Graduates should arrive at 10:00 a.m.)

Honorees: Seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Wake Forest College) with a primary major in Applied Mathematics, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Biology, Biophysics, Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery, Computer Science, Engineering, Health & Exercise Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, Mathematical Economics, Mathematical Statistics, Mathematics, or Physics.

Diploma Ceremony 3

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (Graduates should arrive at 12:30 p.m.)

Honorees: Seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with a primary major in Anthropology, Art (Art History and Studio Art), Biology, Chemistry, Chinese Language & Culture, Classical Languages: Latin, Classical Studies, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, Elementary Education, English, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, Environmental Science, French Studies, German, or Latin.

Diploma Ceremony 4

4 – 5 p.m. (Graduates should arrive at 3 p.m.)

Honorees: Seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with a primary major in History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Japanese Language & Culture, Mathematical Statistics, Mathematics, Music Performance, Philosophy, Physics, Politics & International Affairs, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, or Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Commencement Celebration

Also on May 16, a celebration will be held at Truist Field at 8:30 p.m. This opportunity to gather with all of your classmates will feature some traditional elements, but it will not be a traditional Commencement ceremony. We’ll celebrate your accomplishments in new and exciting ways, including by featuring student performances. We are excited to announce the guest speaker lineup very soon.

Graduates and their two guests should plan to be in their seats by 7:45 p.m. Parking lots will open at 6:30 p.m., and gates will open at 7:00 p.m. Graduates will be seated on the field, and guests will be seated in the stands. The event is expected to last about 90 minutes.

Ticket Information

Each graduate will receive two tickets to their specific Diploma Ceremony and two tickets for the Commencement Celebration. Online ticket registration will open at noon EDT on April 15 and will close on May 7.

  • All complimentary ceremony tickets for guests will be available through the online Ticket Registration form.
  • Graduates will receive an email to access the registration site.
  • Only students can register for tickets, and they must register using their wfu.edu email account.
  • Seating is best available based on the time of registration and is non-transferable. We cannot offer more than two tickets per graduate because of public health guidance.
  • Tickets will be released to graduates electronically on May 13.

Please note that tickets will be issued for the specific Diploma Ceremony that corresponds to the graduate’s primary major. Students and guests must attend the Diploma Ceremony to which they are assigned.

Additional ticket information is available can be found on our tickets page.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns are available for order through Herff Jones in partnership with our campus bookstore. The deadline to order online is April 22. Orders placed after this time may incur additional fees. Graduates should plan to wear caps and gowns for both the daytime ceremonies and the evening celebration.

Senior So Dear and Photo Opportunities

  • Senior So Dear: Join the Office of Alumni Engagement as we celebrate the newest group of Demon Deacon Alumni at Senior So Dear! You’ll have the opportunity to pick up a special gift exclusive to your graduating class, set up your WakeNetwork account and your alumni Gmail account, and build our map of Deacon Nation. Visit Senior So Dear outside the University Bookstore on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Photo Opportunities: As part of Senior So Dear, complimentary photo opportunities with professional photographers will be available at designated times. More details will be shared soon.

Baccalaureate

Our Baccalaureate celebration will be virtual this year, and Bishop Michael Curry will be the speaker. Details about how to access the celebration will be shared later and posted on this site.

COVID-19 Information

To comply with mass gathering orders, all Commencement events will require that attendees wear masks and practice social distancing with people outside their groups.

Venue seating plans are adjusted to comply with CDC and local guidelines. Tickets will be distributed in seating clusters of two, and ticket holders must sit in their reserved seats.

Livestream

We invite family and friends who cannot attend to watch the Diploma Ceremony and the Commencement Celebration via livestream. Wake Forest will then make videos of these events available for viewing on the University’s YouTube channel. Details will be shared closer to the events.

Updates and Questions

Public health conditions and guidance are shifting rapidly, and we may continue to refine plans to celebrate our graduates and protect the health of our community in the weeks ahead. Additional information will be shared on this site as it becomes available. Questions can be directed to commencement@nullwfu.edu.

Stay healthy, enjoy the spring and we look forward to celebrating with you on May 16.

Sincerely,
Wake Forest University Commencement Office