Commencement Guide 2016

Event Information

Western Connecticut State University will hold combined Commencement exercises for graduate and undergraduate students on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main St., Bridgeport. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Who is eligible to participate in the 2016 Commencement?

  • Bachelor candidates: If you are eligible to graduate in May or August of 2016, please make sure you apply for graduation by Dec. 1. - Please visit the Registrar’s website to get information and the application at:
  • Master candidates: If you are eligible to graduate in May of 2016, please make sure you apply for graduation by Dec. 1. If you are eligible to graduate in August of 2016, please make sure you apply for graduation by Feb. 1. Please visit the Graduate Studies website to get information and the application at:
  • Doctoral candidates: You will be eligible to graduate upon the completion of your dissertation defense and the approval of your Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Academic Dress – Academic Regalia

All participants in the academic procession are required to wear academic regalia. Graduates must order your academic regalia by Monday, March 28, 2016. Graduates can pick up their academic regalia at the Grad Salute on:


Wednesday, May 4, 2016
3 to 7 p.m.
Feldman Arena, O'Neill 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

There is no Commencement rehearsal. Students will get the information they need at the Webster Bank Arena first level of the arena parking garage, the morning of Commencement. Candidates should arrive at the Webster Bank Arena 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. 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 into the arena 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 arena security.

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the ceremony. Arena Security will confiscate any alcoholic beverages brought onto the field. Please inform family members that Commencement is held indoors at the arena. It is air-conditioned and there will be plenty of seats for all guests.

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 that precedes 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. The residency requirement for honors may not be waived. Candidacy for May Graduation Honors does not guarantee the award of Graduation Honors upon completion of degree requirements. 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

The Webster Arena is a handicapped accessible facility.  All family members are welcome to attend.

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 2016 into the Alumni Association. Festivities include:

  • 9 a.m.  -  Academic Dress,  Webster Bank Arena (academic regalia will be provided for you if you do not have your own)
  • 10 a.m.   -  Academic Procession, Webster Bank Arena.

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 2016.

Please RSVP by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298 or email

Guest Tickets

You will receive six tickets for entry into the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard at Grad Salute. If you need additional tickets, instructions on where to get them will be included.


There is plenty of parking at the Webster Bank Arena. There are three large outdoor lots and two parking garages. Bridgeport Police will be stationed at the entrance and various arena locations to direct traffic and instruct visitors.

Directions to the Webster Bank Arena

Click here to view directions to the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT

Student Transportation to Commencement

Western will provide free bus transportation to the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, for 2016 graduate and undergraduate student candidates and family members. The bus will depart Western from the Westside Campus Center bus stop at 8:15 a.m. The bus will leave the Webster Bank Arena to return to Danbury 30 minutes after the Commencement ceremony ends.

must reserve your seat(s) and pick up bus ticket(s) at either the Midtown Student Center or Westside Campus Center Information Desks, beginning no later than Thursday, May 5. Students must present their student ID and will be given their ticket(s) for the bus.

Student and Campus Center hours of operation: Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, contact Helen Bechard: (203) 837-8800 or

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 or call (800) 424-3686 for information.


Flowers will be available for purchase at the event.


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 moldings, 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 health care 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 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. 23
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Midtown Student Center Theater

Wednesday, Feb. 24.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Westside Campus Center Room 213

Thursday, May 5
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Westside Campus Center Ballroom South

The sitting is free! To sign up for your portrait appointment, please visit 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. 23.
Senior portraits will also be available at the Grad Salute on May 4.

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°