Ceremony Protocol 

Commencement creates a special and memorable experience for graduates that not only celebrates their achievement, but highlights the new directions of their dreams. We want our graduates to experience a joyful ceremony that truly recognizes their hard work and the sacrifices they have made. Western Governors University believes mutually respectful participation by graduates and their guests is the best way to set the stage.

Academic Attire for Graduates
All graduating students wear approved academic attire that includes a cap, gown, and tassel. The official regalia color is NAVY, which can be purchased from our regalia vendor. Master’s degree graduates will need a hood specific to their degree. We encourage you to wear comfortable, yet professional, dress attire under your gown rather than casual clothing. WGU graduates affiliated with an academic honor society may wear society pins or honor cords on their gowns. With the exception of leis and corsages, graduates should not wear other items or  decoration on their academic regalia. 

Commencement Etiquette
To promote a respectful, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for graduates and their guests, all attendees need to observe the following guidelines.

1. Put your cell phone on vibrate or silent during the ceremony.
2. Do not leave until the entire ceremony has ended, and participate in the recessional.
3. Keep cheering respectful, avoiding disruptive outbursts to allow the families and guests of  other graduates to hear their graduates’ names when they are read.

Guest Seating 
Guests should be seated with their cell phones on silent or vibrate before the graduate procession begins. Guests should remain in their seats during the entire ceremony as a courtesy to graduates. The commencement venue allows photos and videos at the ceremony; however, we encourage you to take photos from your seat rather than from aisles due to fire and safety regulations. WGU has hired a professional photographer for this event, and images of each graduate and the ceremony will be available online for purchase.

Babies and Young Children
The commencement ceremony is broadcast live and recorded. We know that many graduates want young family members to be a part of this special event. For your child’s comfort and as a courtesy to graduates, we encourage you to bring toys, refreshments, or other items that will keep your child quietly entertained for several hours. Caretakers should bring restless young children or crying babies to the lobby area to avoid disrupting the ceremony or the broadcast. To promote safety in close quarters, no babies or children will be allowed on stage or to sit with graduates. By observing these guidelines, we can have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable commencement.

We look forward to greeting and meeting you at the upcoming commencement ceremony!