Commencement Exercises are held annually for graduates who completed their degree requirements in August 2019, December 2019 and May 2020 of the academic year. Commencement is a three and a half hours ceremony.
The Commencement Exercises include the University Commencement Ceremony, the transmigration of professional and graduate schools, and the Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony.
The University Commencement Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on Hearn Plaza. It is attended by graduates and guests of all Wake Forest schools and programs and includes remarks from the University President, the keynote speaker address, the awarding of honorary degrees and the conferring of degrees for all graduate and professional schools.
Following the University Commencement Ceremony, the transmigration of all graduate and professional schools will take place at approximately 10:30 a.m. Those graduates will leave Hearn Plaza in a recessional led by faculty marshals and all except Graduate School of Arts & Sciences degree recipients will convene with their guests at various locations for diploma ceremonies and receptions. BA and BS graduates and guests will remain on Hearn Plaza during the transmigration.
The Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony will take place on Hearn Plaza and includes remarks from a representative of the class and the deans, followed by the awarding of bachelor degrees. Graduates who have earned BA and BS degrees from the College and the School of Business will be asked to cross the stage as their names are called.
Commencement tickets are complimentary but must be reserved online in advance. Commencement is for graduates and their guests and it is not open to the general public. There is a limit of 8 tickets per graduate; graduates do not need tickets. Seating is on a first-come basis.
A Commencement Breakfast will be held in the Reynolda Hall Cafeteria from 6:30-8:30 a.m. Tickets for graduates and guests should be purchased online in advance.
Tickets are not mailed. Graduate and professional school students will receive regalia and ticket information from their respective schools. More ticket information.
Two parking passes will be included with each graduate’s ticket order. More parking information.
As part of Wake Forest’s security measures for Commencement weekend events, all bags brought into Baccalaureate, hooding ceremonies, and Commencement will be checked.
The bag checks are intended to enhance the University’s comprehensive efforts to ensure a safe and secure setting for Commencement weekend activities. The practice of checking bags at such events is being introduced at an increasing number of colleges and universities nationwide.
Wake Forest is encouraging guests not to bring a bag, if possible, to Baccalaureate, the hooding ceremonies, and Commencement. Anyone bringing any kind of bag will have their bag checked before entering the venues for those events.
During Commencement weekend, the bag checks will begin on Saturday, May 16, at hooding ceremonies in Wait Chapel. Bags will be checked outside Wait Chapel’s entrance.
Bag checks outside Wait Chapel’s entrance will continue on Sunday, May 17, for the 9 a.m. Baccalaureate service and the hooding ceremonies that take place later in the day.
On Monday, May 18, bag checks will be conducted at all entrances to Hearn Plaza. The checks will begin at 6 a.m. Commencement is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Such checks during Commencement weekend will assist the University in preventing numerous prohibited items from being brought to the Baccalaureate, hooding ceremonies, and Commencement. Prohibited items include noisemakers, tripods, alcohol, pocket knives and other weapons of any kind. The list also includes signs on sticks, suitcases, and pets.
Bag checks will be conducted at LJVM Coliseum if the University were to implement the Commencement rain plan and move commencement on Monday to the coliseum.
Please factor in time for bag checks as you make plans to travel to campus for Commencement weekend events.