Wilkes University

Commencement

Commencement

Commencement Ceremonies for Classes of 2021 and 2020

Wilkes University will hold in-person Commencement ceremonies for graduates of the classes of 2021 and 2020 across two weekends this May. Multiple ceremonies will be held to accommodate graduates and a limited number of guests and members of the campus community.

Bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees will be conferred at each ceremony, with the exception of the Class of 2021 Nesbitt School of Pharmacy’s ceremony, which will recognize our newest Pharm.Ds.

All ceremonies will be held in the McHale Athletic Center in the University Center on Main and streamed online. Attendees will be required to be masked and seating will be arranged with social distancing principles in place. Each graduate will receive three tickets to Commencement and guests will be required to register in advance of the event for contact-tracing purposes.

Class of 2020 Commencement

Saturday, May 22

The University looks forward to fulfilling its commitment to offering an in-person Commencement for the Class of 2020.

Schedule

  • 10 a.m.
    • Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
    • Passan School of Nursing
  • 1:30 p.m.
    • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    • College of Science and Engineering
  • 5 p.m.
    • Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership
    • School of Education

Class of 2021 Commencement

Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30

The schedule for the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremonies is as follows:

Friday, May 28

  • 6 p.m.
    • Nesbitt School of Pharmacy

Saturday, May 29

  • 10 a.m.
    • Passan School of Nursing
  • 1:30 p.m.
    • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 5 p.m.
    • School of Education

Sunday, May 30

  • 10 a.m.
    • College of Science and Engineering
  • 1:30 p.m.
    • Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership

Commencement Tickets

Graduates will be allocated three tickets for their ceremony. The University has established a maximum capacity for the McHale Athletic Center based on social-distancing guidelines. Based on the size of the graduating class for each College/School, the University may be able to allocate additional tickets to each graduate. Those determinations will be made after May 12, when we know how many graduates plan to attend each ceremony. Graduates will not need a ticket for the ceremony. We can’t guarantee that there will be enough tickets for all members of a graduate’s family to view the ceremony from inside the McHale Athletic Center. For that reason, the University will also establish alternate viewing sites on campus to where the ceremony will be live-streamed; thereby, allowing more family and friends to be on campus for the ceremony. The ceremonies are “ticketed events” and a ticket will be required for guest admission. Please know that all guests must wear masks inside the University Center on Main. We anticipate that doors to the McHale Athletic Center will open one hour before each ceremony.

Tickets will be available for pick up at Passan Hall during University business hours after May 12. Tickets that can’t be picked up will be available at the “will call” table in the lobby of the University Center on Main on the day of the ceremony.

Location and Parking

All ceremonies will be held at the McHale Athletic Center at the University Center on Main at 169 South Main Street. Parking will be available in the parking garage across the street from the University Center on Main and at the rear of the facility that can be accessed from West South Street. All other University parking lots will be available for parking on the day of the ceremonies.

Cap and Gowns/Dress for Commencement Day

The University mailed cap and gowns to the graduates at the address indicated on their cap and gown order form. The University will distribute masks to all graduates at the Marts Center prior to line-up.

Graduates will want to wear comfortable clothes for the ceremony, but not too informal. For safety, we urge graduates not too wear loose fitting sandals or stiletto heels as they will be processing across campus from the Marts Center to the University Center on Main.

Timing for Graduates on Commencement Day

Graduates will need to arrive at the Marts Center (the Wilkes gym) at 174 South Franklin Street at least 75 minutes ahead of their ceremony. Our staff will make sure graduates have donned their caps and gowns appropriately and they will arrange graduates in the processional line in the order they will receive their diploma on stage. Graduates will process through the campus to the McHale Athletic Center, led by the Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band. Should the weather be inclement for any of the ceremonies, the University will make a special announcement on commencement day that the graduates’ line-up for a particular ceremony will take place at the Karambelas Communication and Media Center- next door to the University Center on Main. Timing on graduation day is most important so graduates should be sure to arrive on time.

Professional Photography/Livestreaming

A professional photographer will take your photo when you receive your diploma on stage and again off stage before you return to your seat.

Each ceremony will be livestreamed. The link for the livestream for each ceremony will be available on this website. A video archive of the ceremony will be available on the University’s web site following the ceremony.

Senior Week Activities

Pandemic restrictions allow us to offer Senior Week events in a limited fashion. These events will be open only to graduates.

Monday, May 24th from 4-7pm - BBQ Picnic in the Greenway! Casual, fun and food! 

Wednesday, May 26th from 9am - 9pm - Senior WAE Day! Registrations at the info desk (limited spaces available)

Thursday, May 27th from 5-7:30pm - President's Cocktail Reception! A classy night on the greenway!

Additional Notes

The University will continue to monitor health conditions and local, state and federal guidelines as we proceed with plans for Commencement and related events. Please continue to check this page for additional information about how to register for tickets and attendance guidelines.

Questions?

Student Affairs is here to help! Please contact us at:

The Office of Student Affairs
(570) 408-4100
student.affairs@wilkes.edu

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