Commencement FAQ


Can I participate in Commencement?

Undergraduate students must apply for graduation through the Registrar’s Office ( The Registrar’s Office will evaluate your application to ensure that degree requirements have been met or are on track to be met. Graduate students must apply for graduation through the Office of Graduate Studies ( The list of eligible students will be sent to the Event & Conference Management Office for inclusion.


How do I register to walk in this year’s ceremony?

Eligible graduates will have received an email from MarchingOrder to complete their profile online and RSVP for their ceremony by April 20th. This important step will help us generate the list of graduates and plan for your participation.

The registration deadline has now passed.


How do I order regalia?

Regalia is required for all graduates/candidates in attendance. The deadline to order your regalia has now passed. If you RSVP’d for the ceremony and you have not yet ordered your regalia, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations as soon as possible at (203) 837-8298 or email


How many guests can I bring? Do guests need a ticket?

Graduates will receive 9 guest tickets. Graduates who have registered for the ceremony will need to log in to MarchingOrder to reserve, print and/or email guest tickets. Tickets are non-transferrable and are required for entry into the Westside Athletic Complex.


Who do I contact if I can’t access MarchingOrder?

For best results, use Google Chrome to access the MarchingOrder website. Other browsers do not support the website as well.

  • Log in to
  • Log in as a returning user, using the email address your registration link was sent to and the password you set up to RSVP for Commencement.

If you are having an issue logging on to MarchingOrder or have not received the email to RSVP, contact


What time should I arrive for my commencement ceremony and where are we lining up?

Students should arrive no later than one hour prior to the start of their ceremony. Upon arrival, students should meet in the Feldman Arena of the O’Neill Center where they will check-in and line up.


What time should guests arrive?

For guests, the doors to the Westside Athletic Complex will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony.


How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony will run for approximately 90 minutes.


Will the ceremony be live streamed?

Yes, anyone not in attendance may view the ceremony live at


Where do I park?

Parking will be free for graduates and guests at the Westside Campus. ADA parking will be available in the faculty lot in front of the Westside Athletic Complex; please display the state-issued ADA parking hangtag for entry. WCSU will have staff on-site to direct you to all available parking locations.


Is there handicapped seating?

Yes, there is ADA seating throughout the stadium on a first come first serve basis. Each ADA seat allows for one accompanying guest seat. There will be ushers at the gate entrance to direct guests upon arrival.


How do I check-in on the day of the ceremony?

Each graduate who completes their profile on MarchingOrder will receive a GradPass. Your GradPass has a unique QR code that will be scanned at check-in. Upon check-in, you will be handed your reader card with your full name to be announced and phonetic spelling.

To access your GradPass:

  • Log in to 
  • Log in as a returning user, using the email address your registration link was sent to and the password you set up to register and RSVP for Commencement. 
  • Once on the MarchingOrder website, you will see a link to print your GradPass 
  • Print your GradPass at home or take a screenshot of the QR code to avoid loading it at check-in.


How will candidates be recognized in the ceremony?

Graduates will be lined up alphabetically by degree level with their respective school. At check-in you will receive a reader card with your name on it to be announced as you walk across the stage. Degrees will not be announced but will be listed in the commencement program.


I am graduating with more than one degree from different schools, which ceremony do I attend?

If you are graduating with multiple degrees from different schools, you may choose which ceremony you’d like to attend and/or which school you would like to walk with. Please contact and let us know your preference.


Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

Attending the ceremony does not indicate actual graduation from your program, therefore diplomas are not issued at the ceremony. You will receive your diploma in the mail from the Registrar’s Office/Office of Graduate Studies upon full completion of your degree requirements.


Am I allowed to decorate my cap?

Yes; We do not prohibit the decorating of caps for commencement.  We do ask that your decor is appropriate for all ages.


What are the health and safety requirements for the commencement ceremonies?

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, all in-person ceremonies will fully comply with all applicable local and state guidelines. More information about health and safety procedures may be released as we get closer to the ceremonies.


Will there be photographers at the ceremony?

Yes, professional photographers from GradImages will be taking photos of all graduates during the ceremony. Once proofs are ready, graduates will receive an email from GradImages with the option to purchase their graduation pictures.

  • Photo proofs have been sent. Each graduate for whom we had an email and/or mailing address should have received a copy of his/her proofs.
  • Information for graduates: If you are inquiring about photos, you can simply callGradImages Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576, online at, or by email at GradImages has a large team of customer care representatives ready to help graduates and family members with anything they may need.


WCSU Gifts, Merchandise, Flowers

Follett, our campus bookstore operator, has gifts and other items which can make a great commemorative gift or keepsake. Please visit them at Join their email list to receive 10% off your clothing and gift purchase. They will also have a table set up at the ceremony if you wish to purchase any items on commencement day.


The Commencement Group will be providing flowers for sale at the ceremony. To further contribute to a safe and efficient environment for all attending, The Commencement Group strongly encourages customers to take advantage of their online pre-order service.  A contact-free customer experience for the guests who are simply picking up their pre-purchased and reserved product will be in place. The pre-order link for commencement flowers and t-shirts is:


What next?

Your career and life design continue through graduation and beyond, and WCSU can still help each step of the way. Our new WCSU “Career and Life Design Guide” is packed with guidance, links, and information as you navigate your future through the changing world of work. It is also available to you via the resource-packed Career Success Center web portal:  Career Success Center – Western Connecticut State University ( and hardcopy, available at the Career Success Center spaces, Westside Campus Center, 3rd floor.


The WCSU Alumni Association is excited that you will be joining our family
that is 30,000 members strong. We hope you will stay connected with Western,
participate in our diverse programs and attend the many events available to alumni.
Good luck in all  your endeavors!