How to Prepare for WMU Commencement

By: Lauren Hufford

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With the semester coming to an end, it is time again for a very important event: Western Michigan University commencement. For the fall semester ceremony, WMU will present a total of 1,734 diplomas. 1,260 of those diplomas are at the bachelor’s level, 443 at the master’s level and 31 at the doctoral level. From my perspective – as a Miller Auditorium employee – commencement is a very interesting day. With three ceremonies back-to-back, the day is busy to say the least. Along with the fact that so many people are coming into Miller Auditorium, many for the first time, I think it might be helpful to give some quick tips. So here are a few things to keep in mind when attending a commencement ceremony.

1. Tickets are required to come into the ceremony. Your student gets a link to the tickets electronically and can then send them off to you. Although the tickets can be printed more than once, they can only be scanned once. Duplicate tickets with the same bar code will be denied entry. Every person in your party, regardless of age, needs a ticket to the ceremony.

2. Seating is general admission. That means that lines of people are fed into the seating area and are assigned seats as they enter. The general rule is that you are allowed to save two seats per party so make sure your entire group is with you and ready to sit down or you might be separated from your group.

3. The ceremonies will last approximately two hours and there is no intermission. You are welcome to leave and come back throughout the ceremony. After the ceremony, you will meet your graduate outside – so bring a coat!

4) It is a good idea to arrive at Miller Auditorium 30-40 minutes before the ceremony begins due to possible traffic concerns. Parking is free in all parking areas near Miller, including the attached parking structure.

5) If you need special seating arrangements, please call us at (269) 387-2320 as soon as possible to make sure we can accommodate you.

6) Graduates will be assembling in Shaw Theatre next door approximately an hour before the ceremony begins. More information about the timeline for graduates was sent out to all who are walking in the ceremony.

7) Please leave large bags, strollers and gifts in your vehicle. Please also be aware that balloons, air horns and large signs are not permitted in the seating area.

We are honored to host graduates along with their friends and families for this very important day. Congratulations, new grads!

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