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Commencement Ceremony


Commencement Rehearsal

Commencement Rehearsal is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017, in Dinwiddie Chapel.

Rehearsal is required for all day program graduates and is optional for those in the evening (School of Professional Studies) program. However, we encourage all students (day and evening) to attend, as important information regarding the ceremony as well as a walk-through will be provided in preparation for Commencement.

Dress Requirement:  Graduates: Casual

A special communion service for all graduates is scheduled for Friday, May 5, 2017, immediately following rehearsal in the Dinwiddie Chapel. We encourage you to stay and share this special moment with your classmates.


noneCommencement Day

Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2017 on the Main Green.

Students need to line up for Commencement by 9 a.m. in Dinwiddie Chapel. Due to limited space, only graduates will be permitted in Main. Please plan with your family to take pictures before or after Commencement.

Speaker: TBD

Live Stream: Commencement will be live streamed on the University's YouTube Channel

Dress Requirement:  Graduates need to wear Cap and Gown (with hood and/or honor cords if applicable). There is no other official dress code. Since you will be walking on bricks, it is is strongly advised against wearing heels.

Guidelines for academic dress are regulated by the American Council on Education. The American Council on Education does not recognize any adornment or decoration outside of the standard gown, hood and cap. Traditionally, cords are reserved for students with a certain GPA and the American Council on Education has recognized cords and stoles that indicate membership in an academic honor society. William Peace University will follow these national guidelines. Students graduating with Latin Honors will be presented with gold cords at rehearsal. Students who are members of academic Honor Societies can wear the honor pin or cord they received at induction.

Attendance:  There is no limit to the number of guests students may invite to either Baccalaureate or Commencement. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis. In an effort to be equitable, "reserved seat" signs on the chairs are not permitted.Thank you for your cooperation.

Bookstore: The Bookstore will be open 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday

Photography: Photo Specialties will be attending the Commencement Ceremony and will be taking pictures of each graduate as they cross the stage and receive their diploma and as they come down the center stage. These photograph proofs will be emailed and mailed to each graduates home, in case they would like to purchase. This service is provided by Photo Specialties; all communications and photo orders will be from Photo Specialties.



Dinwiddie Chapel

In 1883, the chapel and west wing of Main opened. The Chapel was named later in 1924 in memory of Dr. James L. Dinwiddie, who served as president from 1890 to 1907, and remains a beautiful place of worship. The 1870 Pomplitz organ, a rare antique pipe organ, was given and installed in 1918 when the Alumnae Association sponsored a renovation of the rooms as a 50th anniversary project. The chapel was renovated again in 1972 with major funding from descendants of James Dinwiddie and the organ restored.

Throughout the decades, it has served as a constant reminder to Peace that we are a faith-based institution. It remains a place of importance for multiple events throughout the academic year. Students begin their educational experience at William Peace University in the Chapel at Academic Convocation and find themselves again in the Chapel for Commencement.

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The Fountain & Roses

It's been a WPU tradition for decades now. Following Commencement, students sing the Alma Mater and once finished, it is tradition for them to join one another around the historic fountain located in the center of Main Lawn and toss roses received as part of the Commencement Ceremony into the running water. Each year, you'll find hundreds of proud students and family members surrounding the landmark, taking pictures and smiling. Students' gowns are often doused in water after soaking their feet.

“The memories I hold of the white dresses and red roses around the fountain are precious – and replayed on frequent occasions.”

Lib Harkey, Class of 1938

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In addition to a rose, each graduating student is given their own personal Bible. William Peace University has long-been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, since its founding in 1857. Graduating students not only leave WPU with an excellent education and skill-set, but also a strong sense of faith, character and community. 

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