Which students are eligible for participation in May 2020 Commencement & inclusion in the commencement program?

Degree-seeking students must fall into one of the following categories:

  • The student is awarded a degree in the fall 2019 term/semester or winter 2019–20 term.

  • The student is enrolled in the spring 2020 term/semester and, as of March 13, 2020, has an expected degree completion term/semester of spring 2020, summer 2020 or fall 2020.

Names of eligible Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) candidates are submitted by the director of teacher education.

Where is commencement?

The graduate & undergraduate ceremonies will be held at the Dunkin' Donuts Center (1 LaSalle Square, Providence, RI). Guests must arrive with their own wheelchair if ambulatory assistance is required. Refer to the venue’s website for accessibility information.

The Physician Assistant ceremony and the Doctoral Hooding ceremony will be held on-campus.

Where can we park?

There are ample parking facilities near the venue (rates will vary). On commencement day, the JWU Downcity parking garage will be open with Wildcat Wheels bus service between the garage and the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

What if I have guests traveling from outside of the USA?

We advise students to provide their guests with the following documents (allow 1 week processing time):

  • Enrollment letter showing expected graduation date,

  • Official academic transcript, and

  • For international students only, copies of their I-20, F1 student visa, and passport.

Are tickets required for guests? 

Yes. Due to space constraints tickets are required for all guests attending undergraduate commencement. Tickets are specific to each ceremony and must be presented at the venue's main entrance. Seats are not assigned - tickets are for general admittance.

Tickets are not required for the graduate studies ceremony (there will be ample seating).

How many guest tickets does each grad get for undergraduate commencement?

Each student is eligible to receive up to six guest tickets (which cannot be replaced if lost). Please note that each ceremony is live streamed (scroll down for more info).

How can I get an extra ticket? Are they for sale?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for additional tickets. Please ask around. Students may share unused tickets with whomever they desire (make sure tickets are for the correct ceremony). The sale of tickets is NOT condoned – please do not buy or sell them.

Where do grads arrive?

Don’t enter through the main entrance. Instead, follow the service road on the left side of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (near the hotel & Starbucks). Follow it to the end & enter via the back of the building. There will be security checkpoints & bag checks. Large items are not allowed; please leave them with guests.

Where do guests arrive?

Enter through the main entrance. Special notes:

  • Balloons and outside beverages are not allowed.

  • There are no restrooms in the lobby (you must pass through security first).

Where do grads go once inside?

Follow signs to line up with classmates in your college/major (there is no alphabetical lineup). If needed, use the restroom now because you must stay seated during the ceremony (you cannot leave the seating area unless guided by an usher). Ushers will guide you when to enter the floor seating area, and later, when to proceed to the stage.

What should grads expect when crossing the stage?

Be ready, pay attention to those in front of you, and keep the line moving. Before heading up the stairs, you will receive a diploma cover (yours to keep) and then photographed quickly. At the top of the stairs, hand your name card to the announcer, walk to center stage to greet the dean, and then return to your seat.

What's a name card? Why do I need one?

It's used to announce your name when crossing the commencement stage. You’ll get your card when picking up your cap/gown - keep it in a safe place and bring it with you when arriving to your ceremony. If necessary, clearly print on your card the best way to pronounce your name.

Can I leave early?

No. All graduates, guests & attendees are expected to remain for the entire duration of their ceremony. Leaving early shows extreme disrespect. Wait until all names are read - the ceremony ends shortly thereafter.

Will grads be photographed at commencement?

Yes, professional photographers will take each graduating student’s picture as they cross the stage. Pre-register now - follow the appropriate link below - to be notified when photos are ready to be viewed. You'll receive a discount coupon, too!

  • 2020 links will be available later in the year

Can I return to campus after the ceremony to take photos?

Yes, of course! Gaebe Commons is a popular spot.

Is there a JWU Yearbook? How do I get included?

The Johnsonian is a yearly publication that covers all areas of campus life - it’s for all JWU students but especially bachelor's degree and non-returning associate degree graduates. Photographers are on-campus at set dates during the academic year to take portraits.

Where can I watch a live stream of the ceremony?

Webcasts will begin about 15 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony. Watch here:

  • 2020 links will be available later in the year

Where can I watch prior year full-length live streams?

2019: Undergrad AM | Undergrad PM | Graduate Studies | Physician Assistant | Doctoral Hooding

2018: Undergrad AM | Undergrad PM | Graduate Studies