Be a part of a student's biggest day at Western: sign up to be a commencement volunteer!

Regardless of their job title everyone who works at Western is devoted in one way or another to making sure students complete their WWU degrees.

And regardless of their job titles, all WWU employees – and students – have an opportunity to help graduates and their families celebrate commencement by working at the ceremonies.

“Getting to watch students and their guests celebrate what they came to WWU to accomplish is incredibly rewarding,” said Jasmine Johnson, a financial aid counselor who has worked at several commencement ceremonies. “It helps remind me why I do the work I do every day.” 

Western will hold eight ceremonies June 9-11, and each one requires dozens of people to make it happen. Faculty, staff and students have been invited to work at commencement ceremonies for decades. But now with eight ceremonies to produce, it’s time for more co-workers to be a part of students’ biggest day.

“It’s an absolute blast,” said Kristia Peschka, a fiscal specialist in University Advancement. “Everyone is happy at commencement: Parents, friends, loved ones, the graduates. It’s so exhilarating to be around that much joy, excitement and celebration.”

All faculty, staff and students are eligible to work commencement. Here are some things to know:

  • Compensation is available: Employees may use their volunteer community service hours to work commencement. Employees and students (eve non-hourly exempt staff) also have the option of taking a non-permanent position in the Registrar’s Office, which pays at least $16 an hour.
  • Hourly employees may also work with their supervisors to shift their schedules so the hours working commencement fit into their regular work week – or result in overtime or comp time.
  • Commencement workers may pick which day – or which ceremony -- they can work. It’s best to pick a day and work at all the ceremonies that day, but it’s not a requirement.
  • Workers may also share what kind of job they’re interested in, but those placements aren’t guaranteed. Job descriptions are included in the sign-up form.
  • Meals and snacks are provided for those who work through mealtimes.

“Working commencement is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Melinda Assink, executive assistant to the provost. “It gives me hope for our future and pride in our community.”

Questions? Ask Commencement Coordinator Jackie Smith