Nearly 2,900 students are graduating from Western Washington University

WWU planning for eight ceremonies over June Commencement Weekend

Bellingham, WA – Western Washington University will host eight commencement ceremonies June 9-11 to celebrate graduates and their families.   

Around 2,300 students who graduated winter quarter or plan to graduate in spring or summer quarters are scheduled to walk at this weekend’s ceremonies in Carver Gym. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremonies so that students can bring their families and guests, and overflow seating will be available nearby. 

To ensure that we can accommodate all guests, we have doubled the number of June Commencement ceremonies to a total of eight. Last year, this approach ensured seating for all. Because more graduates plan to walk at their ceremonies and invite more loved ones this year, at-capacity crowds are expected for the larger ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, but the intent is that everyone will get a seat in Carver Gymnasium. Should there be more guests than projected, additional viewing spaces in adjacent facilities will be available.

Each ceremony is expected to last about an hour and will include a student speaker. Commencement speakers are nominated by faculty, staff and students, and are selected by the WWU Provost for their messages of encouragement, congratulations, inspiration, hope and celebration.  

All commencement ceremonies will be held in Carver Gym in the following schedule: 

Friday, June 9:  

  • 3 p.m.: The College of Science and Engineering departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy and Science Education. The student speaker will be Ted Topper.  

  • 6 p.m.: The remaining departments in the College of Science and Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering and Design. The student speaker will be Shelby Powers.  

Saturday, June 10:  

  • 10 a.m.: The College of Business and Economics. The student speaker will be Malku Cruz.  

  • 1 p.m.: The College of the Environment and the College of Fine and Performing Arts. The student speaker will be Madison Gard.  

  • 4 p.m.: Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, University Interdisciplinary Studies and Woodring College of Education. The student speaker will be William (Nelson) Makoyiisaaminaa.  

Sunday, June 11: 

All three ceremonies will be for graduates of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

  • 10 a.m.: The departments of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Global Humanities and Religions, Health & Human Development, Linguistics, Multidisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, anThed Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The student speaker will be Jagmeet Sahota.  

  • 1 p.m.: The departments of Communication Studies, East Asian Studies, English, History, Journalism and Modern & Classical Languages. The student speaker will be Jannah Hinthorne.  

  • 4 p.m.: The departments of Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology. The student speaker will be Chiyo Aoki-Kramer 

Important Practical Information for Commencement Attendees 

Doors open one hour prior to each ceremony, and guests should be seated at least 10 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available.  

Graduates must make reservations to participate in the ceremonies and have been asked to share the number of guests they plan to bring. The ceremonies on Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, are expected to fill Carver gym. Once Carver is at capacity, guests will be directed to nearby classroom lecture halls with comfortable seating, where they’ll be invited to watch a livestream of the ceremony on large, theater-style screens.  

The ceremony livestream will also be available online for viewing from home. (Visit and click on “Ceremony Livestream.”)  

Following the ceremony, graduates will have the opportunity to follow WWU tradition and place a small item representative of their time at Western in a time capsule that is later cemented into Memory Walk in front of Old Main. 

Guest parking is free on commencement days and available in most lots. A downloadable parking map is available here. Visitors must observe regulations for accessible and individually reserved spaces. Accessible parking will be in the 9G parking lot, which is closest to Carver and served by a golf cart shuttle for those who need assistance. Visitors are also advised to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to allow for travel time between the parking lots and Carver.  

For those parking in the south campus parking lots, there will be a free shuttle service available from the parking lot off Bill McDonald Parkway, just south of Wade King Student Recreation Center, that will drop off guests near Carver. Three shuttle buses will run in a loop on Friday, June 9 1 p.m.–8 p.m. and on Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11 8:15 a.m.–6:30 p.m. The three-shuttle fleet includes one ADA-equipped shuttle that will accommodate two wheelchairs per route. Guests using wheelchairs may take this shuttle or they may park in the designated lot for accessible parking in the 9G lot.   

For more information about June Commencement, visit, email or call 360-650-3432.  


About Western Washington University 

Western Washington University offers more than 200 academic programs on its main campus located in Bellingham, and at additional sites in Anacortes, Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles and Poulsbo. Western is recognized nationally for its successes, from being named the top master’s-granting institution in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report, which also named WWU as the of the best public schools in the West for veterans, to its recognition as one of the most sustainable, green campuses in the nation by the Sierra Club. Western is also known for being a top producer of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and Peace Corps volunteers, and nationally ranked for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates.  The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academic Workplace report named Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: teaching environment and tenure clarity and process. 

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