Undergraduate Commencement Guide 2014

Event Information

Western Connecticut State University will hold Commencement exercises for undergraduate students on Sunday, May 11, 2014, at the Practice Field (grass area adjacent to the student gravel parking lot) on the Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m. Please consider parking at the Midtown campus and taking a convenient, air conditioned, complimentary coach shuttle to the ceremony.

Who is eligible to participate in the 2014 Undergraduate Commencement?

  • Students who completed their degree or diploma requirements at the end of the 2013 Fall Semester.
  • Students who will complete their degree requirements in May 2014 and August 2014.

Academic Dress – Academic Regalia
All participants in the academic procession are required to wear academic regalia. Graduates must order your academic regalia by Monday, April 7, 2014. Graduates can pick up their academic regalia at the Grad Salute on:


Wednesday, April 30, 2014
3 to 7 p.m.
Feldman Arena, O'Neil Center
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. Representatives will be on hand to assist students in making final graduation preparations. Complimentary food and fun activities will be available. Plus, enter to win a free custom WCSU diploma frame and other raffle prizes. 

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

Commencement Procedure
A continental breakfast will be provided for all candidates and faculty from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. There is no Commencement rehearsal. Students will get the information they need at the O'Neill Center the morning of Commencement. Candidates should arrive at the Feldman Arena in the O'Neill Center 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.

You will need to keep your name card with you to assemble for the procession and to have your name announced during the ceremony. Candidates will assemble in the blue seating area inside the arena. Please find your seat with your school. This is the order in which you will process to the field. 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 onto the field 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 center aisle.

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 campus police.

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the ceremony. Campus police will confiscate any alcoholic beverages brought onto the field.

Please inform family members that Commencement is held outdoors and suggest they consider wearing a hat for sun protection and flat-heeled shoes for walking on the grass.

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)


Magna cum laude (high honors)


Summa cum laude (highest honors)


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 preceding 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. Candidacy for May Graduation Honors does not guarantee the award of Graduation Honors upon completion of degree requirements.

Graduation honors, which appear on the transcript and on an honor’s certificate, will be awarded only to students who complete their graduation requirements with a minimum of 45 credits in residence at Western Connecticut State University and have a cumulative earned grade-point average of at least 3.50. The residency requirement for honors may not be waived. 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 at the Grad Salute. If you have any questions about your eligibility, contact the Registrar's Office directly at (203) 837-9200.

Access Ability Needs

Any student or member of a student’s family that requires special accommodations for the May Commencement ceremony must contact the Office of University Events (203) 837-8800 no later than Friday, April 18.

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 2014 into the Alumni Association. Festivities include:

  • 7:30 a.m.   - Commencement Breakfast, Grand Ballroom, Westside Campus Center, WCSU Westside campus
  • 9 a.m.  -  Academic Dress, Hall of Fame, O'Neill Convocation Center, WCSU Westside campus (academic regalia will be provided for you if you do not have your own)
  • 10 a.m.   -  Academic Procession, Feldman Arena, O'Neill Convocation Center, WCSU Westside campus.

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 2014.

Please RSVP by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 203-837-8298 or email alumni@wcsu.edu.

The university has negotiated special rates with local hotels for guests attending WCSU's Commencement festivities. To make your reservation, call the hotel of your choice directly. Book your reservation early to ensure room availability. When booking your reservation, make sure to ask for the special WCSU rate. We looking forward to seeing you on campus this May.

Area Accommodations

A reception will be held near the graduation site after the ceremony for graduates and their guests.

Guest Tickets
There is no limit to how many guests students can invite to the Undergraduate Commencement festivities. Everyone is welcome. There is, however, limited parking on the Westside campus that day. Every student scheduled for graduation, as well as the student's family, will receive a special one-day hang-tag parking pass. Please see the Parking section below for additional information. Anyone without a hang-tag may park on  the Midtown campus and take the complimentary shuttle over to Westside. Refer to the Shuttle Service section below. Students can pick up their hang-tag at the Grad Salute. Family hang-tags will be mailed home.

Parking is limited at the Westside campus.  Every student scheduled for graduation, as well as the student’s family, will receive a special one-day hang-tag parking pass. Students will be given 2 parking passes at the Grad Salute, one for themselves and one for their family.  

These passes are for use by graduates and guests and must be displayed from the rear view mirror of all vehicles. No vehicle will be admitted without this pass. Please note that most parking is in campus lots and not all are close to the stadium where commencement will take place.

Danbury and WCSU Police will be stationed at the entrance and various Westside campus locations to direct traffic and instruct visitors.

Parking will be available in the garage off University Boulevard and at any other surface lot. Parking will not be allowed along the sides or on the median strip of the divided end of University Boulevard. Pedestrians are encouraged to use the sidewalks and cross only at pedestrian crosswalks to avoid accidents.

There is only one entrance to the Westside campus. Traffic can be congested along Mill Plain Road and University Boulevard. It is a good idea to arrive early, as parking areas fill up quickly. Please note that businesses along Mill Plain Road and Lake Avenue Extension will be open. Non-customers parking there may be towed at their own expense.

Handicapped Parking and Services
Handicap parking is adjacent to the Commencement field. No transportation will be provided from the parking area to the Commencement field, therefore it is important that the individual have a wheelchair or be able to walk to the field. The university does not provide wheelchairs.

Persons with a state handicap permit or requiring handicapped or easily accessible parking should complete a Handicapped Parking Request Form. For more information, or to request a form be mailed to you, contact:

Sheryl Scott
Alumni Relations & University Relations
WCSU, Old Main suite 302
181 White St.
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: (203) 837-8486
Fax: (203) 837-8530

Requests for special parking must be received no later than Friday, May 2.

Shuttle Service
Convenient shuttle service to and from the Midtown parking garages will be provided for guests, beginning at 9 a.m. We strongly suggest attendees consider parking at Midtown. Please inform your guests about this service.

Directions to the Campus
Click here to view directions to our campus

Driving directions following the ceremony
Cars leaving the campus after the ceremony will be directed West along Mill Plain Road. Interstate-84 can be accessed both eastbound and westbound at Exit 2, about three miles from campus.

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 www.gradimages.com or call (800) 424-3686 for information.

WCSU Media Services will record the ceremony, and offer a downloadable digital copy for purchase sometime after the conclusion of the commencement ceremony.

Flowers will be available for purchase at the event.

Invitations and Announcements
The WCSU Bookstore works with a company called Balfour to provide WCSU Commencement invitations and related materials. Go to http://www.balfour.com for more information.

Campus Bookstore
The campus Bookstore will operate a sale area near the Commencement site.

Flowers will be available for purchase at the field.

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 mouldings, mats and glass styles depending on your taste.

New this year, 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. Download the order form or call the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298 for more information.

Short-term Medical Insurance
After graduation, many students lose their health insurance coverage under their parents' plans, making them vulnerable to high healthcare costs. GradMed provides protection from the major expenses associated with an accident or unexpected illness, providing coverage while job searching or waiting for new employee benefits to begin. An ideal product for new graduates, with GradMed you can choose a coverage period and deductible that meets your needs. Coverage can begin as early as the day after receipt of your application. For more information, visit the GradMed Web site.

New grads - take advantage of health and financial benefits available to you through your Alumni Association. Check out www.newgradzone.com to learn more about plans designed to help protect you as you transition into your new life. Don't wait - get into the zone!

Senior Portraits

Senior Portraits will be taken:

Tuesday, Feb. 18 and Wednesday, Feb. 19.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 3 to 8 p.m.
Westside Campus Center Ballroom

The sitting is free! To signup for your portrait appointment, please visit www.thorntonstudio.com and click on �Schedule Portrait Sitting.� Click on the link above the calendar to schedule your appointment at school. Use School Code: 01380. You can also call (800) 883-9449 or see the photographer in person on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Senior portraits will also be available at the Grad Salute on April 30.

WCSU Weather Information

Current Conditions in Danbury

Current Conditions

55.1° F
Feels like N/A°

Wind: 7MPH from the S
Humidity: N/A%
Pressure: 30 in.
Dew Point: N/A° F

Emergency / Weather Alert Information

The Emergency / Weather Alert will be posted on the WCSU home page any time an emergency or bad weather causes a delay, cancellation or early closing of the university.

Weather Alert Example

 Visit the Emergency / Weather Alert page

Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Slight chance for a morning shower, partly sunny and pleasant.
Partly sunny and pleasant.
Mostly cloudy, chance for some showers.
Chance for morning rain then some afternoon sunshine.
Mostly sunny and mild.
36° / 59° 34° / 56° 36° / 43° 39° / 54° 33° / 54°