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Graduation Information

The University of Montana Western 118th Annual Commencement Ceremony

Join us in celebrating the University of Montana Western's 118th Commencement Ceremony Saturday May 9, 2015 at 11 a.m. in Straugh Gymnasium. Graduates should arrive with regalia by 9:15 a.m. for rehearsal and line up. The Gymnasium opens for family and guests at 10 a.m.

No tickets are required, but seating does fill quickly. If the Gymnasium reaches capacity, overflow seating is available in Keltz Arena.

Information for Graduates

Students who complete all degree requirements in Summer 2014, Fall 2014, or Spring 2015 are eligible to participate in the 118th Commencement Ceremony. Students who are completing all their degree requirements in Summer 2015 may appeal to participate in the ceremony by completing the Early Commencement Petition. All students planning to participate must submit a Commencement Participation Form to the Registrar's Office no later than Friday March 20.

Schedule of Events

May 6-8 from 1-4 p.m. - Commencement Reglia available for pick up in the Fireside Room of the Student Union Building

May 8 at 7 p.m. - Optional Baccalureate in Small Auditorium MH314

May 9 from 8-9 a.m. - Commencement Reglia available for pick up in the Fireside Room of the Student Union Building

May 9 at 9:15 a.m. - Mandatory rehearsal for participants. At 10 a.m. participants will move to the Keltz Arena for line up.

May 9 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Commencement Ceremony

May 9 at 12:30 p.m. - Reception on the Tundra (unless raining, then it will move to the Keltz Arena)

Commencement Related Forms

Ceremony Information

Obtaining Regalia (Cap, Gown, and Tassel)

Regalia is available for pick up May 6-8, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. and May 9, 2015 8-9:15 a.m. in the Fireside Room located in the Student Union Building (SUB). Regalia is purchased by submitting the Commencement Participation form (which asks for your height and weight) and by paying the $30 commencement fee. All regalia must be brought with you the morning of Commencement to Straugh Gymnasium

Honors Cords

If you are eligible for an honor cord, you may purchase it from the Campus Bookstore for $6 at the same time that you pick up your regalia. Honor cords are awarded for the following UMW cumulative grade point averages:

  • 3.33-3.64 cum laude
  • 3.65-3.84 magna cum laude
  • 3.85-4.00 summa cum laude


Graduation announcement information from Signature Announcements was included with the graduation packets mailed to each eligible participant. Information is also available through the Campus Bookstore or at

Rehearsal for Graduation

Rehearsal will begin promptly at 9:15 a.m. on May 9, 2015 in the Straugh Gymnasium. Rehearsal guides graduates and escorts through the event, highlighting when and where you need to be at varying points in the ceremony, what to do when crossing the stage and receiving the hood from your escort, and the processional and recessional process. Rehearsal is mandatory to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Please gather at the seats in front of the Gymnasium.

Graduation and Commencement FAQ's

When and where is Commencement?

Commencement is held in the Straugh Gymnasium at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 9, 2015. Graduates and Escorts need to be in Straugh Gymnasium no later than 9:15 a.m. for rehearsal and lineup. Please note that if graduates are late for the line up process they will not be able to participate in the ceremony.

How do I get my regalia?

Commencement Regalia is ordered by submitting a Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form to the Registrar’s Office no later than 4:30 PM on March 20, 2015. This form includes a request for height and weight which will be provided to the University Bookstore. Regalia can be picked up in the Fireside Room of the Student Union Building (SUB) from 1-4 PM, May 6-8 (Wednesday-Friday) and 8-9:00 AM on May 9 (Saturday). Your regalia is paid for by the $30 Commencement Fee paid with the submission of your Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form.

Who is allowed to participate in the ceremony?

Students who finish their degree requirements during the Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015 and who have not already participated in ceremonies are eligible to participate in ceremonies. If you are pending requirements at the end of the Spring 2015 semester that will be completed during Summer 2015, you must complete a Early Commencement Petition and Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form no later than April 1, 2015 and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. If you completed all your degree requirements in Summer 2014, Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 you only need to submit the and Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form no later than March 20, 2015.

What does the $30 commencement fee cover?

The $30 commencement fee purchases for the graduate includes one cap, one tassel, and one gown to keep. It also covers the rental of a hood and an escort gown. Please note that if the rental hood and escort gown are not returned immediately after the ceremony a $5 late fee will be charged to your account. Any white escort gowns and hoods not returned will be billed to the graduate at the replacement value. Graduates keep their black gowns, caps, and tassels.

What is a Commencement Escort?

Commencement Escorts are selected by you to walk in the ceremony with you and hood you during the hooding part of the ceremony. They will receive a white rental gown and will carry the hood into the ceremony for you. An escort should ideally be someone who has been an important part of your graduation process, as it is an honor to share this time and event with you. Escorts are required should you choose to participate in the Commencement ceremony and only one escort is allowed per candidate and should not be a small child as they must be able to perform the duties of walking in with the candidate and hooding them during the proper time of the ceremony. Make sure to include the height and weight of your commencement escort on your graduation participation form so that we can make sure adequate sizes are available.

How do I wear my tassel?

The tassel is worn on the left side of your cap. At the end of the Commencement ceremony, you will be told as a group to turn your tassel. At that time, turn your tassel to the right signifying the formal awarding of your degree.

When do I get my diploma?

Diplomas will not be awarded during the Commencement ceremony as some students are still awaiting grades for their final courses. Instead you will receive a diploma cover as recognition of your accomplishment. Diplomas are sent to graduates (based on the address you provided on the Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form) about 2 months after your official graduation semester.

What is Graduation with Honors and am I eligible?

Graduation with Honors is the recognition of graduates, who upon completing degree requirements have maintained at least a 3.33 UMW GPA and have completed at least 30 semester credits of resident college-level coursework applicable. For Spring and Summer 2015 graduates, your honors at ceremony will be based on the UMW cumulative GPA earned at the end of the Fall 2014 semester as your final grades are not available yet. Students awarded honors are eligible to wear cords during ceremony. Graduation honors levels are as follows:

  • 3.33-3.64 Cum Laude
  • 3.65-3.84 Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.85-4.00 Summa Cum Laude

If you are eligible to wear honor cords you may purchase them from the Campus Bookstore for $6 during the week regalia is available for pick up.

What if I need disability services for the ceremony?

Candidates needing disability services in order to participate in Commencement must notify the Registrar’s Office (683-7214) at least three (3) weeks before Commencement (April 17, 2015). Please specify services required.

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