All of your hard work and studying will soon pay off when you walk across that stage, shake the President’s hand, then head off into the world. 

Your undergraduate experience will truly culminate at Commencement. Our ceremony is typically hosted on Main Lawn, directly in front of the institution. Campus is filled with family, friends, and plenty of smiling faces.



Saturday, May 2, 2020
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
University Main Lawn


Friday, May 1, 2020
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church (across from campus)

Check out video highlights from WPU’s 2019 Commencement

2019 Commencement Speaker

Secretary Machelle Sanders

Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Administration.Machelle Sanders is a natural-born leader in every facet of her life and career. As a wife and mother of two, Secretary Sanders has had an expansive career in leadership and management positions throughout a variety of business sectors.

Secretary Sanders is a native of Belhaven, North Carolina, and is dedicated to serving her home state. Her passion for improving the lives of North Carolinians led to her current appointment by Governor Roy Cooper as the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration.

“I am excited and looking forward to the commencement here at William Peace University, and I’m looking forward to having a conversation about the possibilities for this great graduating class.”

Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the NC Department of Administration

LEARN MORE ABOUT Machelle Sanders

2019 Baccalaureate Speaker

President Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian C. Ralph, WPU President

“This is my fourth year at William Peace University. It is a special year for me because many of the Class of 2019 joined the WPU community as a first-year student with me on my first day as President, August 17, 2015. I am excited to share that I will be presenting the Baccalaureate address to the graduating seniors as a special send-off to my first class.”

“I look forward to the upcoming celebration and hope to share some inspiring words that will challenge and equip graduates for life after Peace.”

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of William Peace University


Info for Graduates

  • Regalia
    Beginning with the Graduate Fair on February 10 and 11th (12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. both days) in Blue Parlor, 2nd floor, Main Building, you can order your cap, gown and tassel from Jostens. These items will be available only as a package and will be available for pick up (date TBD). The cost of these items are included in your graduation application fee. Graduate Fair is the only opportunity to order your cap and gown.
  • Announcements & Rings
    You may also choose to order class rings, Commencement invitations, and Graduation announcements from Jostens at Graduate Fair on February 10-11th, 2020. (Noon to 6:00 p.m. both days | Main Parlor, Main Bld.)
  • Your Diploma
    The Office of the Registrar orders diplomas following the Commencement ceremony so that Latin Honors are properly reflected on the diploma. Each graduate’s diploma is mailed to the address specified on the application for graduation approximately four to six weeks after graduation. 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.

    When completing the application for graduation, students are asked to use the address for mailing the diploma. Care should be taken that someone will be at this address during the summer when the diploma arrives.

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

    Each graduate will receive a ceremonial diploma cover on stage as your name is announced.

  • 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
    • 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 (Feb. 10-11th). This two-day event will be your first 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
    • Pick up cap and gown in the Office of the Registrar
    • Pay fines or other financial debts on your student account. Your account must be cleared before your graduation
    • Informational emails from the University are sent as the graduation ceremony approaches. Read these carefully and respond appropriately

Info for Parents + Weekend Guests

  • Ceremony Programs
    Programs will be available around Main Lawn before and during the ceremony. Following the ceremony a PDF of the program will be uploaded to this site.
  • Hotel Arrangements
    Contact information for preferred hotels can be found on 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 for these special requests.

    If there are additional services requested, please email Nicole Davis, Director, Wellness Center & Disability Services at

  • 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 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   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
    • Encourage your graduate to attend the Graduate Salute being held on February 12 and 13 in Blue Parlor in Main Building from 12:00 – 6:00 pm. Graduates can order cap, gown, and tassel, graduation announcements, and class rings.  There will also be representatives from the Office of the Registrar, and Student Accounts to answer questions
    • Check campus weather. Graduation exercises are held outside on Main Lawn and temperatures in May can vary

Office of the Registrar
Main 108