Commencement Guide 2019

Event Information

Western Connecticut State University will hold combined Commencement exercises for graduate and undergraduate students on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main St., Bridgeport. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Who is eligible to participate in the 2019 Commencement?

  • Bachelor candidates: If you graduated in December 2018 or January 2019, or are eligible to graduate in May or August of 2019, please make sure you applied for graduation at the Registrar’s Office or check their website to get information and the application at:
  • Master candidates: If you graduated in January 2019, or are eligible to graduate in May or August 2019, please make sure you applied for graduation through the Graduate Studies office or visit their website to get information and the application at:
  • Doctoral candidates: You will be eligible to graduate upon the completion of your dissertation defense and the approval of your Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Academic Dress – Academic Regalia

All participants in the academic procession are required to wear academic regalia. You can order your regalia after Wednesday, Jan. 16. :

Associate Degree Academic Regalia

Bachelor’s Degree Academic Regalia

Master’s Degree Academic Regalia

All academic regalia must be purchased by Monday, Apr. 8, at 9 a.m. and will be picked up at Grad Salute on:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
2 to 7 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom
WCSU Westside campus

All graduating students are invited to this event where they will have an opportunity to finalize their Commencement needs in one stop and pick up their pre-ordered academic regalia. You will also receive an information packet that includes your commencement instructions, name card and your six (6) tickets. You will receive instructions on how to get extra tickets, if needed.

If you are unable to pick up your regalia, please ask a friend or family member to do it for you. Bring a letter of permission and the candidates ID #. Due to space limitations, regalia will not be available for pickup on the day of Commencement.

Commencement Procedure

There is no Commencement rehearsal. Students will get the information they need at the Webster Bank Arena first level of the arena parking garage, the morning of Commencement. Candidates should arrive at the Webster Bank Arena no later than 9 a.m. to line up for the procession. Look for the banner with your school name and proceed to that area to pick up your name card. Please be sure to bring your name card and tassel with your regalia to the Webster Bank Arena.

You will need to keep your name card with you to assemble for the procession and to have your name announced during the ceremony. This is the order in which you will process to the arena. The procession will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Staff members will direct all candidates to the appropriate areas to line up. University marshals will lead the procession into the arena and direct you to your seat. Remain standing until the University President asks you to be seated.

Each school’s dean will ask their candidates to stand. Your university marshal will guide you to the stage. Hand your name card to the announcer who will read your name. Shake hands with your dean and the university president, then proceed, as directed, for your official graduate portrait. After your picture has been taken, go back to your seat. It is important that all candidates remain for the duration of the ceremony out of respect for fellow graduates.

Please stand as the university president officially confers the degree upon your group. At this time, you may officially move the tassel on your cap to the left side.

Respective deans will give the same cue to each graduating degree group.

At the conclusion of Commencement exercises, all candidates rise for the Recessional. Following is the order of the Recessional: Dais party, faculty, and then graduates, beginning with the first row. March out two-by-two, using the aisles as directed by the Commencement Staff.

Ceremony and Facility Protocol

Please have respect for the other graduates and their guests. Do not leave the Commencement ceremony early.

To preserve the dignity of the ceremony and the safety of those in attendance, air horns, beach balls, and other inflatable items are prohibited and will be confiscated by the arena security.

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the ceremony. Arena Security will confiscate any alcoholic beverages brought into the arena. Please inform family members that Commencement is held indoors at the arena. It is air-conditioned and there will be plenty of seats for all guests.

The use of cellular phones is disruptive to both participants and guests. Please silence all phones during the ceremony.

Graduation Honors for Baccalaureate Degree

Graduation honors for the baccalaureate degree recognize high academic achievement at Western Connecticut State University as demonstrated by the following cumulative grade-point averages:

Cum laude (honors):                                    3.50 – 3.69

Magna cum laude (high honors):            3.70 – 3.89

Summa cum laude (highest honors):    3.90 – 4.00

January graduates and May candidates for Graduation Honors, who will be recognized at the May Commencement ceremonies, are identified at the conclusion of the January Intersession semester that precedes graduation. Students who have earned a minimum of 45 credits toward their graduation requirements in residence at Western Connecticut State University with a cumulative earned GPA of at least 3.50 are considered to be Graduation Honors candidates eligible for recognition at the May Commencement. The residency requirement for honors may not be waived. Candidacy for May Graduation Honors does not guarantee the award of Graduation Honors upon completion of degree requirements. Students with questions regarding academic honors should consult the academic dean of their major.

Honors Cords

Undergraduate honors cords are provided by the Registrar’s Office and are based off of the last overall GPA recorded not including the current semester. They are distributed by the Registrar’s Office. If you have any questions about your eligibility, contact the Registrar’s Office directly at (203) 837-9200. Candidates for a Master’s Degree do not receive honors cords.

AccessAbility Needs

The Webster Bank Arena is a handicapped-accessible facility.  All family members are welcome to attend.

Attention family members of graduating students

Are you an alumnus and have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, etc., graduating from WCSU this May? If so, join your fellow alumni in the academic procession.

Legacy alumni are invited to participate in the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony by leading the procession of gradates and welcoming the class of 2019 into the Alumni Association. Festivities include:

  • 9 a.m.  –  Academic Dress,  Webster Bank Arena (academic regalia will be provided for you if you do not have your own)
  • 10 a.m.   –  Academic Procession, Webster Bank Arena

The ceremony will immediately follow. Special seating will be provided for all alumni participating in the procession. During the past several years, alumni from those celebrating their 50th class reunion to our more recent graduates have participated in Commencement by leading the procession. This tradition is a wonderful way to honor all of our graduates, along with your student, and welcome them into the WCSU Alumni Association. I hope you will join us as we celebrate the Class of 2018.

Please RSVP by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298 or email

Guest Tickets

Ticket information will be posted here and you will receive the designated number of tickets into the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in your information packet at Grad Salute on Wednesday, May 8. If you need additional tickets, instructions on where to get them will be included in your information packet.


There is plenty of parking at the Webster Bank Arena. There are three large outdoor lots and two parking garages. Bridgeport Police will be stationed at the entrance and various arena locations to direct traffic and instruct visitors.

Directions to the Webster Bank Arena

Click here to view directions to the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT


Student Transportation to Commencement

Western will provide free bus transportation to the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, for 2018 graduate and undergraduate student candidates and family members. The bus will depart Western from the Westside Campus Center bus stop at 8:15 a.m. The bus will leave the Webster Bank Arena to return to Danbury 30 minutes after the Commencement ceremony ends.

Students must reserve seat(s) and pick up bus ticket(s) at either the Midtown Student Center or Westside Campus Center Information Desks, beginning no later than Thursday, May 5. Students must present their student ID and will be given their ticket(s) for the bus.

Student and Campus Center hours of operation: Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, contact Helen Bechard: (203) 837-8800 or

University Fees

All fees (cashier, library, parking, etc.) must be paid prior to Commencement or your diploma will be withheld.

Graduate Portraits

Photographers from GradTrak Graduation Images will be on stage to photograph graduates. Proofs will be mailed to you after the ceremony. You are under no obligation to purchase. Visit or call (800) 424-3686 for information.


Flowers and WCSU gifts will be available for purchase inside the arena.


Diplomas will be mailed from the Registrar’s Office approximately eight weeks after your graduation date.

WCSU Official Diploma Frames

Graduation from college is a huge accomplishment. What better way to display this great achievement than in an official WCSU diploma frame. For years to come, your diploma will remain safe and look impressive.

Visit Western’s Diploma Frame Store online. There are several diploma frame styles to choose from and you can even design your frame online by choosing different moldings, mats and glass styles depending on your taste. Graduates can have the name of their academic school included on their diploma frame beneath the name of the university.

We also offer several desk accessories that feature an attractive and rich-looking two-toned engraved medallion with the Western seal. Some of the pieces can even be personalized with your name.

You can order your diploma frame and desk accessories online or by phone with a credit card at (203) 837-8298. If you would like us to send you a diploma frame brochure, please call us at the number above.

Engraved Brick

Leave your legacy at Western by engraving your name and a special message on a 4 x 8 brick located in the Alumni & Friends Circle. The Alumni & Friends Circle, located in between Old Main and Fairfield Hall, houses an ensemble of inscribed bricks, trees, benches and light posts donated by alumni and friends of the university. Several brick paths now lead into the circle making it highly visible to students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. Call the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298 for more information.

SENIOR PORTRAITS AND COLLEGE RINGS – WESTSIDE: The WCSU Campus and Student Centers board will host senior portraits from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 1/29, in the Westside Campus Center Ballroom. Appointments for portraits are recommended. Go to and click on “schedule portrait sitting” and use school code 01380 or call (800) 883-9449. Portraits are open to senior WCSU students only. Graduation cap and gown portraits also will be photographed. There is no sitting fee. Jostens will also be in the WCC Ballroom from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. to allow graduating students the opportunity to order a college ring. [Jostens information].

SENIOR PORTRAITS AND COLLEGE RINGS – MIDTOWN: The WCSU Campus and Student Centers board will host senior portraits from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 1/30, in the Midtown Student Center Theater. Appointments for portraits are recommended. Go to and click on “schedule portrait sitting” and use school code 01380 or call (800) 883-9449. Open to senior WCSU students only. Graduation cap and gown portraits also will be photographed. There is no sitting fee. Jostens will also be in the Midtown Student Center lobby from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow graduating students the opportunity to order a college ring. [Jostens information].

Senior Portraits and College Rings will be represented at Grad Salute. Sittings for portraits and ring purchases from 3 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8.