Commencement 2020 + 2021

Dr. Brian C. Ralph is the 11th President of WPU

Greeting Class of 2020 + 2021,

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we have scheduled three socially distanced, in-person ceremonies on Main Lawn for the classes of 2020 and 2021.  In order to maintain appropriate capacity restrictions, students will have the opportunity to have four ticketed guests.  If you have not yet reserved your tickets for Commencement please reach out to the Office of the Registrar to RSVP by April 5, 2021 at registrar@peace.edu.

COMMENCEMENT FOR CLASS OF 2020 | #WPUGRAD2020

Friday, May 7th @ 5 PM | University Main Lawn | Watch the live stream!

COMMENCEMENT FOR CLASS OF 2021 | #WPUGRAD2021

Saturday, May 8th | 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM | University Main Lawn| Watch the live stream! (session 1) | Watch the live stream! (session 2)

COMMENCEMENT HIGHLIGHTS FOR CLASS OF 2020 + 2021 | #WPUGrAD2020 #WPUGRAD2021

  • Announcement of 2020 and 2021 Commencement Speakers | April 21, 2021

    William Peace University is proud to announce Mitchell J. Silver and Robert A. Ingram as the class of 2020 and 2021 commencement speakers.

    Mr. Silver, who will speak to the class of 2020, is one of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers and innovators, as well as an award-winning planner. Currently, he serves as commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks.

    “I am thrilled to share my insights with the next generation of thought leaders, change makers and emerging experts as they embark on their professional career,” said Silver.

    “I am thrilled to share my insights with the next generation of thought leaders, change makers and emerging experts as they embark on their professional career.” 

    Ingram, who will address the class of 2021, has a lifetime of experience as a public servant and is currently general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, which invests in early-stage life science companies. He founded and chaired the CEO Roundtable on Cancer at the request of former President George H.W. Bush, and has since received the NACD B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award and the North Carolina Award for public service.

    “I have long admired William Peace University for its commitment to its students and, particularly, its dedication during this pandemic year to provide a real in-person learning experience for its students while adhering to COVID-19 protocols,” said Ingram.

    “I have long admired William Peace University for its commitment to its students and, particularly, its dedication during this pandemic year to provide a real in-person learning experience for its students while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.” 

    The commencement ceremonies will take place on WPU’s main lawn on Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m., for the class of 2020, and Saturday, May 8 at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., for the class of 2021. To maintain the health and safety of our community, the ceremonies will be socially distanced, and masks are mandatory. The ceremonies will be abbreviated, and the commencement speeches will be pre-recorded and shared in advance through email and social media. The event will also be live streamed.

  • To the Class of 2021 from Dr. Ralph + Commencement Committee | April 14, 2021
    Dear Class of 2021:

    We waited as long as we could so we could capture as many RSVPs as possible.  So we are excited to announce your assigned ceremonies on Saturday, May 8. 
    The following majors will participate in the 9:30 am commencement ceremony:
    • Anthropology
    • Business Administration
    • Business Analytics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • History
    • Marketing
    • Political Science
    • Pre-Law
    • Psychology
    The following majors will participate in the 3:30 pm commencement ceremony:
    • Arts Administration
    • Biology
    • Communication
    • English
    • Exercise and Sports Science
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Liberal Studies
    • Musical Theatre
    • Nursing
    • Simulation and Game Design
    • Sport and Fitness Studies
    • Strategic Communication
    • Theatre
    • Writing
    Ticket pick up for both ceremonies will be on Monday, April 26 from 8 am – 6 pm, the same day as cap and gown pick up.
    You will receive an email from theOffice of the Registrar on Thursday, April 15 confirming your assigned ceremony.
    If you have not yet RSVP’d, please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@peace.edu.
    In Peace,
    The Commencement Committee and the Office of the President

  • To the Class of 2021 from Dr. Ralph | March 24, 2021
    Greetings Class of 2021,

     What a year it has been! I know how difficult it has been for you, not being able to celebrate your senior year with all the traditions that typically come along with it. While we cannot change the course of 2020/2021, I think we can all agree that we’re beginning to see evidence of better days ahead.

     To that end, I am absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be holding in-person, socially-distanced commencement ceremonies this May to celebrate your achievements and enjoy some of WPU’s most treasured commencement traditions.

     On Saturday, May 8, the Class of 2021 will be honored through two separate ceremonies on Main Lawn at 9:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. (approximately half the class at each ceremony)  Your assigned ceremony will be communicated to you through the Office of the Registrar in the near future. Due to State of North Carolina health and safety requirements, Main Lawn’s capacity is limited for each ceremony, resulting in the need for two ceremonies. Each ceremony will be socially-distanced, with seats spaced 6 feet apart. We made the decision to have two ceremonies so that each of you could have some guests attend in person.

     In an effort to maintain the health and safety of our community, the ceremonies will be abbreviated, with the main focus being conferral of degrees. Additionally, the commencement message will be delivered virtually, prior to the in-person ceremonies.

     Each graduate will be given the opportunity to reserve up to four tickets for guests, and will need to RSVP for each guest by Monday, April 5. Please only reserve the number of tickets you need so that we can consider a lottery with any extra tickets.

    For those of you who are unable to participate, and/or have family and friends who are unable to attend, we will also be live streaming the event on YouTube.

    Plans for an alternate hooding ceremony are also underway. More information regarding commencement activities, how to watch the commencement message live stream, and how to register and RSVP for guest tickets will be shared soon.

    We look forward to honoring you all on May 8. If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ section of WPU’s commencement webpage, please direct them to commencement@peace.edu.

     I, and the rest of WPU’s faculty and staff, can’t wait to see you there and celebrate your amazing achievements!.

    President Ralph

     P.S. In case you missed it, check out the attached video message from your fellow Class of 2021 Graduate Bergin Gillespie!

  • To the Class of 2020 from Dr. Ralph | March 24, 2021
    Greetings Class of 2020,

    What a year it has been! I know how difficult it was for you last spring, not being able to celebrate your senior year with all the traditions that typically come along with it. While we cannot change the course of 2020, I think we can all agree that we’re beginning to see evidence of better days ahead.

    To that end, I am absolutely thrilled to announce that, this May, the Class of 2020 will finally have the chance to walk across the stage and celebrate your successes in a long-overdue graduation ceremony. On Friday, May 7, at 5 p.m.,WPU will be holding an in-person, socially-distanced commencement ceremony to honor each of you.

    Although you have already received your diploma, I hope that you will rejoin us on campus to formally celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy some of WPU’s most treasured commencement traditions.

    In adherence with State of North Carolina health and safety requirements, the ceremony will be socially-distanced, with seats spaced 6 feet apart, and the Main Lawn’s capacity will be limited.

    In an effort to maintain the health and safety of our community, the ceremonies will be abbreviated, with the main focus being conferral of degrees. Additionally, the commencement message will be delivered virtually, prior to the in-person ceremonies.

     

    Each graduate will be given the opportunity to reserve up to four tickets for guests, and will need to RSVP for each guest by Monday, April 5. Please only reserve the number of tickets you need so that we can consider a lottery with any extra tickets.

     For those of you who are unable to participate, and/or have family and friends who are unable to attend, we will also be live streaming the event on YouTube.

     Plans for an alternate hooding ceremony are also underway. More information regarding commencement activities, how to watch the commencement message live stream, and how to register and RSVP for guest tickets will be shared soon!

     We look forward to honoring you all on Friday, May 7. If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ section of WPU’s commencement webpage, please direct them to commencement@peace.edu

     I, and the rest of WPU’s faculty and staff, can’t wait to see you again and properly celebrate you!.

    President Ralph

    P.S. In case you missed it, check out the attached video message from your fellow Class of 2020 Graduate Deja Gainey.

  • A letter from the President | October 19, 2020

    A letter from the President | October 19, 2020

    Dr. Brian C. Ralph is the 11th President of WPU

    Greeting Class of 2020 + 2021,

    What a year it has been! We know just how difficult it has been for both the class of 2020 and 2021, not being able to celebrate your Senior year with all the traditions that come along with it!  As we have stated from the beginning, it is still our hope and plan to celebrate your achievements together at a commencement ceremony in person.

    COVID-19 continues to affect our campus, and any plans for large gatherings. As we have shared with each of your classes, while the State of North Carolina recently moved to Safer at Home: Phase 3, we are not allowed to host outdoor gatherings larger than 50, so we are now planning to celebrate your accomplishments in the Spring of 2021.

    Our tentative plan calls for the following in-person celebrations:

    • Class of 2020:  Friday, May 7, 2021, 5:00 pm on the Main Lawn
    • Class of 2021:  Saturday, May 8, 2021, 9:30 am on the Main Lawn
    • Details regarding Baccalaureate for both classes are under consideration

    Please SAVE THE DATES for these wonderful occasions. We look forward to honoring you and both of your classes. We will continue to monitor health and safety conditions and communicate any changes to our plans as needed.

    In anticipation of our celebration together,

    President Ralph

  • A letter from the President | April 23, 2020
    Class of 2020,

    Congratulations! You have so much of which to be proud. You have immersed yourselves in the William Peace University experience, challenged and pushed yourselves beyond what you thought you were capable, and persevered to the end—and a less than normal end at that.

    You have made friendships that will last a lifetime and developed connections with faculty and staff, many of whom will serve as mentors for many years to come. You competed through athletics, you wowed the audience through performances, you served others on campus and off. We are proud of you and look forward to watching your adventures continue beyond the University as well as staying connected with you as proud alumni.

    We will celebrate your achievements with a wonderful Commencement Ceremony.

    There are a number of items that I want to share with you as you head into finals and the conclusion of your time here at William Peace University.

    1. We are holding off on setting a date for Baccalaureate and Commencement until we have more clarity about the spread of COVID-19 and the parameters that will be set in the future by Wake County, the State of North Carolina, and the CDC. We will offer as much advance notice as possible. As I shared during my Town Hall, we are looking at a variety of options. I know that isn’t specific, but if we are not allowed to have a large gathering of people on the front lawn, that will impact our decision.
    2. For those who have ordered caps and gowns, we will ship those directly to you. We are working with our provider to make this possible. You will be receiving an email from the University asking you to submit the appropriate address for delivery of your cap and gown. Your diplomas will also be sent once you have completed all requirements for graduation. 
    3. Some of you have been asking about purchasing a brick, which is a great way to celebrate your time in college, to commemorate friendships and memories made, to honor your favorite faculty or staff member, or to memorialize a loved one. You can do that here: https://alumniconnect.peace.edu/page/bricks 
    4. Lastly, as a special gift to each of you, we have ordered graduation stoles. They will be presented to you just prior to Commencement so that you can wear it on that day! If you are unable to attend, we will gladly mail it to you.

    I am so proud of all you have accomplished and look forward to congratulating each of you at Commencement.

    With Peace,

    President Ralph

Info for Graduates

  • Regalia
    The Class of 2020 has already received regalia.

    The Class of 2021 has ordered their regalia through the office of the Registrar and WILL BE SCHLEDULED SHORTLY.  If you have not already done so, please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@peace.edu..

  • Your Diploma
    The Office of the Registrar orders diplomas so that Latin Honors are properly reflected on the diploma. Diplomas are mailed to your preferred address after all of your degree requirements are met (conferral) and balances are paid.  If you have not received your diploma by August 1 please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@peace.edu. The diploma includes the graduate’s full name, degree as well as academic distinctions (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude) as applicable.

    Diplomas are 8.8 x 11” and are printed on high-quality paper.

  • Checklist for Graduating Students

    October – November
    • Apply to graduate. You may pick up a Graduation Application in the Office of the Registrar
    • Once you have applied, a complete degree evaluation will be processed by staff in the Registrar’s Office to determine whether or not you are on track to graduate in May.
    • You should regularly visit Degree Audit and meet with your Advisor to confirm that all of your courses are meeting the appropriate degree requirements.
    • Register for the courses needed to complete your degree during spring registration for classes.  Verify that with your spring courses, you have completed all degree, major, minor, and concentration requirements.
    January-February
    • Check Degree Audit and check in with your Advisor to verify progress toward graduation requirements. Contact the Office of the University Registrar with any questions about status.
    • Check the Commencement website for up-to-date information and direct your family to the website.
    • Attend Graduate Fair. This will be your opportunity to order cap, gown & tassel (available only as a package). Students can also order graduation announcements, class rings and diploma frames. Representatives from various University Offices will be available to answer questions. You will be asked to check the name to be placed on your diploma and your diploma’s shipping address for correctness. More information to come.
     April
    • Pay fines or other financial debts on your student account. Your account must be cleared before graduation.
    May
    • Informational emails including Commencement survey will be sent from the University. Read these carefully and respond appropriately.

  • Commencement General FAQs
  • Commencement Day FAQs
  • Baccalaureate Ceremony FAQs

Info for Parents + Weekend Guests

  • Ceremony Programs
    Programs will be available around Main Lawn before and during the ceremony.

    2020 Program

    2021 Program

  • Hotel Arrangements
    Contact information for preferred hotels can be found on www.godowntownraleigh.com. When you contact a hotel, let the hotel associate know that you will be attending the William Peace University graduation. Many hotels have set aside a block of rooms for graduation guests.

    Explore Downtown Raleigh Hotels

  • Parking
    For detailed information on parking, please explore our digital campus map.

    Explore the Campus Map

  • Guests with Special Needs
    Special Needs parking spaces will be available in the 15 East Peace Street, Main parking lot. Please contact the Office of Disability Services for these special requests: MAJohn@peace.edu.
  • Professional Photographs
    A professional from Photo Specialties will photograph each graduate as he or she crosses the stage during commencement. Photo Specialties will send free color proofs and ordering instructions to each graduate’s email and permanent mailing address. If graduates do not receive this link or need additional information about ordering photos, they should contact Photo Specialties at info@photospecialties.com or 919.967.9576.

    Contact Photo Specialties

  • Checklist for Parents of Graduating Students

    • Remind your student to apply to graduate by the deadline. The graduate should also consult his or her degree evaluation on MyPacerNet to verify progress toward graduation requirements
    • Make hotel reservations. Contact information for preferred hotels can be found on godowntownraleigh.com.   When you contact a hotel, let the hotel associate know that you will be attending the William Peace University graduation.  Many hotels have set aside a block of rooms for graduation guests
    • Read through all Commencement information on our website.
    • Ceremonies will be held rain or shine. Graduation exercises will be held outside on Main Lawn and temperatures can vary, please plan accordingly.

2020 VALEDICTORIANS

The Katherine Bryan Sloan Graham Award for academic achievement was established in 1969 in memory of the late Katherine Bryan Sloan Graham, the first student to matriculate at the Peace Institute in 1872. The award is presented to graduating seniors whose academic record places them as the top of their class as Valedictorians. Additionally, this award is given to students who, in the faculty’s opinion, exemplify commendable traits of citizenship, cooperation, and concern for others.

2020 OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARDS

William Peace University annually presents the Outstanding Graduate Award to the traditional undergraduate program graduate who, in the opinion of faculty and administrative staff, is the outstanding member of the graduating class in academic, social, and religious leadership; in acceptance of obligations; and in their general interpretation of the ideals of William Peace University.

The Outstanding School of Professional Studies Graduate Award is presented to the Peace graduate who is the outstanding member of the graduating class in their academic, social and religious leadership; in acceptance of obligations; and in general interpretation of the ideals of William Peace University. 

2020 STUDENT SPEAKER

Congratulations 2020 Graduates!

2021 VALEDICTORIAN

The Katherine Bryan Sloan Graham Award for academic achievement was established in 1969 in memory of the late Katherine Bryan Sloan Graham, the first student to matriculate at the Peace Institute in 1872. The award is presented to graduating seniors whose academic record places them as the top of their class as Valedictorians. Additionally, this award is given to students who, in the faculty’s opinion, exemplify commendable traits of citizenship, cooperation, and concern for others.

2021 OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARDS

William Peace University annually presents the Outstanding Graduate Award to the traditional undergraduate program graduate who, in the opinion of faculty and administrative staff, is the outstanding member of the graduating class in academic, social, and religious leadership; in acceptance of obligations; and in their general interpretation of the ideals of William Peace University.

 

The Outstanding School of Professional Studies Graduate Award is presented to the Peace graduate who is the outstanding member of the graduating class in their academic, social and religious leadership; in acceptance of obligations; and in general interpretation of the ideals of William Peace University.

2021 STUDENT SPEAKER

Congratulations 2021 Graduates!

Office of the Registrar
Main 108