We know you have questions about Commencement. You’ve come to the right place to find the answers.

I am graduating. How do I find out about requirements, the Commencement ceremony and other important information?

First, you must apply for Commencement. It’s a graduation requirement. After you apply, the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Planning, the Business Office and other campus offices will contact you sometime between the time you apply and graduation. We recommend that you visit the Commencement section on the website, join your class Facebook page and check for email from the Office of the Registrar after you apply so you stay up-to-date on the information you need.

When is the Commencement ceremony?

The December 2017 ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 16th at 9 a.m. in Austin Auditorium.  Degree candidates will line up in the lobby of J.M. Smith Residence Hall.

There will be two spring Commencement ceremonies–one for Graduate level candidates on Friday, May 11th at 6 p.m. on the Academic Quadrangle and the second for Undergraduate candidates on Saturday, May 12th at 9 a.m. also on the Academic Quadrangle.  Degree candidates for both ceremonies will line up between the Ethel K. Smith Library and Wingate Baptist Church 30-60 minutes before the ceremony start time–5:00 p.m. for Graduate candidates and 8:30 am. for Undergraduate candidates, respectively.  Graduate candidates need additinoal time to recieve hoods.

How do I purchase a cap and gown?

The easiest way is to visit the Herff-Jones website.

  • Undergraduates need a bachelor’s degree gown and cap.
  • Graduate students receiving a MAED, MAT, MBA or a MAC degree need a master’s gown and cap, which are required.
  • Students receiving a Doctor of Education degree are required to have the doctoral gown, tam and tassel set.
  • Students receiving a Doctor of Pharmacy degree are required to have the doctoral gown, tam and tassel set.
  • Students receiving a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree are required to have the doctoral gown, tam and tassel set.

When is Commencement rehearsal? Do I have to attend?

Wingate no longer has Commencement rehearsal.  To watch a video about what you need to know for Commencement, please visit the Wingate YouTube site.

How do I order photos or a DVD of Commencement? Can I take pictures?

You can take pictures. Professional photographers are also present at Commencement to take pictures of graduates as they receive their diplomas. The photography studio will mail ordering information to graduates the week after Commencement.  If for some reason you do not receive ordering information, please visit the photographer’s website.

The ceremony is recorded as well. You may purchase Commencement DVDs through the Marketing and Communications Office for $30 per DVD. Please make checks payable to Ms. Kristen Johnson Yost in the Office of Marketing and Communications and mail to 220 N. Camden Rd. Wingate, NC 28174. Letters will be mailed to the permanent home addresses of all undergraduate parents, so please check with your family before ordering to avoid duplication.

How do I receive my hood?

Graduate degree candidates will receive their hoods during the line-up preceding the Commencement ceremony.

Where do I purchase my class ring?

You can purchase your class ring online from Herff Jones, the official graduation vendor of Wingate University. Their website makes it easy. You can purchase graduation announcements and diploma frames from Herff Jones as well.

What is the dress code?

Caps and gowns are required. Stoles and fraternity cords are permitted. Honor cords are distributed during the Commencement rehearsal. They will be available on the morning of the ceremony.

“Sunday” dress is considered appropriate for both men and women. Ladies should wear dresses, skirts or dress trousers. Men should wear trousers and shirts with collars. Black shoes and socks are preferred. Guests should follow the same dress code.

How many guests can I have? Do students receive tickets?

For the December ceremony, seating is limited in Austin Auditorium.  Each degree candidate is notified regarding ticket availability.  Based on past attendance, degree candidates should plan on four tickets for Austin Auditorium.  Overflow seating will be able in McGee Theater in the Batte Center and does not require any tickets.

Since the May ceremonies are outdoors, there is no limit on the number of guests. You do not need to request tickets, but seating in the shade is limited. A live video feed is available in Austin Auditorium for guests who prefer to sit indoors. A link to the live video feed will also be available on the WU Homepage.

The ceremony is outside. What happens if it rains?

If there is heavy rain or thunderstorms, the ceremony will take place in Cuddy Arena in the Cannon Complex. Prospective graduates will be notified by email if there is a rain delay, or you may check the university website under the calendar link for commencement. If the ceremony is to be moved to the arena, graduates will be instructed to pick up tickets. The number of tickets available to each graduate is determined by the number of graduates in attendance.

Where do guests park for Commencement?

Please see the Commencement information parking page on the website.

Where do guests with special needs park?

For those with official handicap parking permits, enter the campus by taking a left onto North Main Street, turn right on Cedar Street, and proceed to the lot with the handicap parking symbol.

I have a guest who has special needs. Is there a reserved seating section for the guest?

For the December ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 704-233-8393 or commencement@wingate.edu regarding seating for an accommodation.

For the May ceremony, we do not designate one area for special needs guests since we consider all seating in the Academic Quadrangle to be accessible. The commencement ceremony seats are folding chairs, which can be easily moved to make room for a wheelchair, walker or stroller. If the ceremony is moved to Cuddy Arena because of inclement weather, accessible seating will be very limited. Special needs guests with tickets will be seated in this section on a first come, first served basis.

How are graduation honors calculated?

Undergraduate graduation honors are calculated using all college work attempted, but transfer work cannot raise the Wingate University GPA. Cumulative GPA is calculated by taking all quality points and dividing that by all hours attempted. GPAs are not rounded. As an example, if you have a 3.999, it will not be rounded to a 4.00.

Graduation honors are notated on your diploma, on your transcript and in the commencement program. Your honors are also announced during the commencement ceremony. Due to the limited amount of time between final grades and commencement, honors may not be completely accurate. Graduation honors are as follows:

  • Cum laude = 3.500 to 3.649 (School of Pharmacy: Cum laude = 3.50 to 3.69)
  • Magna cum laude = 3.650 to 3.899 (School of Pharmacy: Magna cum laude = 3.70 to 3.89)
  • Summa cum laude = 3.900 to 4.000 (School of Pharmacy: Summa cum laude = 3.90 to 4.00)

No other graduate program other than the PharmD and DPT programs award graduation honors.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar if you have questions on how to calculate your GPA.

Honors cords will be distributed the morning of Commencement.  Please do not be late for line-up!

If I do not participate in Commencement, when will I receive my diploma?

If you choose not to participate in Commencement, your diploma will be mailed out by certified mail the week after Commencement. If you are an August graduate, your diploma will be sent by certified mail the week following the August conferral date.

I have completed my academic course requirements, but I have not completed my Lyceum Series. Will I be able to receive my diploma?

No. The Lyceum Series is a graduation requirement. You will not be eligible to walk in the Commencement ceremony, and your degree will not be awarded until the Lyceum requirement is fulfilled. The Lyceum Series only applies to main campus undergraduate students.

How long will seniors who live on campus have to check out of their on-campus housing?

Please contact the Office of Residence Life at 704-233-8244 for more information. Closer to Commencement, check-out procedures will be posted and distributed to all residential students.

If you have more questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at commencement@wingate.edu. We will do our best to get you the answers you need.