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124th Annual Commencement Ceremony

COVID-19 and Commencement Ceremony

The effects of COVID-19 continue to make planning for the commencement ceremony a fluid ever-changing planning process.  While the University is doing all it can to offer a in person ceremony, we may have to adapt to any changes in COVID-19 regulations.  As it stands right now we are offering three ceremonies at the time and place below with the following guidelines.

  • Each graduate may have up to 4 guests attend.  Guests will be sitting in assigned seating in Straugh Gym that is socially distanced.
  • All people in Straugh Gym during the ceremony are expected to wear a mask or other face protectant like a face shield and remain socially distanced.
  • Guest showing any sort of symptom like a fever, sore throat etc., should remain home and take advantage of our live stream services.

Commencement Ceremonies: April 30th and May 1st

The University of Montana Western is hosting three in-person, socially distanced Commencement ceremonies to be held on Friday April 30th and Saturday May 1st.  A student’s ceremony is designated by their degree and major.  Ceremonies are scheduled for the following days and times:

  • Friday April 30th at 3 PM– Business, Health and Human Performance/Kinesiology, and Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies majors
  • Saturday May 1st at 10 AM– Education majors
  • Saturday May 1st at 3 PM– English, Fine Arts, Modern History, Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, Interdisciplinary Social Science, Mathematics, Environmental Science, Environmental Interpretation, Environmental Sustainability, Biology, Ecology, and Associate of Arts/Science majors.

All graduates from 2019-20 (summer 19, fall 19, and spring 20) are invited to join graduates of 2020-21 (summer 20, fall 20, and spring 21) for a day of pomp and circumstance as we celebrate your academic accomplishments.  Graduates must have submitted the commencement participation form to participate in ceremonies.  If you as a graduate are unsure if you have submitted the form, contact Rebecca Stuart, Graduation Coordinator, at (406) 683-7214 or Rebecca.Stuart@umwestern.edu.

Graduates are allowed 4 guests at their ceremony.  We will be live-streaming each ceremony for friends and family that cannot be there in person due to our seating limitations.

Campus Map

For those unfamiliar with the campus the campus map is available at: https://www.umwestern.edu/campus-map/  The Registrar’s Office is located in the James Short Building; Keltz Arena and Straugh Gym are in the Bulldog Athletic & Recreation Center; The Campus Bookstore is located in Student Union Building.

Guests and Tickets

Graduates can pick up their 4 tickets from the Registrar’s Office located in the James Short Building on campus starting Monday April 26th at 1 PM.  The office will be open the following hours for ticket release.  For graduates that live off campus tickets will be available for pick up at Keltz Arena prior to your ceremony as well.  Please coordinate with your guests how to get their tickets from you.

Monday: 1-5 PM

Tuesday: 8:30 AM-5 PM

Wednesday:  8:30 AM-3 PM

Thursday 8:30 AM- 5 PM

Friday 8:30 AM- 1 PM Registrar’s Office; 2 PM-3 PM Keltz Arena

Saturday 8:30 AM- 9:30 AM Keltz Arena and noon-2:30 PM Keltz Arena

All guests must wear their masks over their nose and mouth while indoors.  Pods of no more than four people will be assigned upon entering the Straugh Gym where guests will need to remain for the duration of the ceremony.  Pods will be individually released at the end of the ceremony and can meet their graduate outside on the tundra outside the gym.

Ceremony Live-Stream

Each commencement ceremony will be live-streamed on the Southwestern MT News Facebook page.  Please visit this Facebook page link on the day and time of the ceremony to view the live stream.

Professional Photos through GradImages

Every year the University of Montana Western contracts with GradImages to provide take two pictures of your graduates.  One as they receive their diploma from the Chancellor and one on their own off stage after just crossing the stage and receiving their diploma cover.  Within a week after ceremonies your graduate will receive proofs of their pictures so a decision can be made to purchase.  Orders for the pictures can be made through the link given to the graduate OR through the following website: https://www.gradimages.com/

Cap and Gown

Regalia includes your cap and gown.  The purchase of regalia and invitations is provided by the company Signature A.   Signature A website to order regalia, invitations, and/or other graduation celebratory items is www.signaturea.com.  Orders had to be placed by April 8th in order to guarantee on time delivery.  If you did not place your order on time or there was an error with your order the campus bookstore will have extras available.  You can find the campus bookstore in the Student Union Building or by calling (406) 683-7282.

Contact and Further Information

We are excited for the opportunity to honor the Classes of 2020 and 2021.  If you have any questions, please email rebecca.stuart@umwestern.edu.  Please continue to check this page for updates.