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Commencement Information


Congratulations Graduates!

Commencement is the culminating event of an academic career, perhaps as significant to family and friends as it is to the graduate. As you begin planning for this very special occasion, this page will provide you with the essential information you need to know for the recognition of your success. 

May 2016 Commencement

Associate and Bachelor Degrees

Saturday, May 7th, 2016 - 10:00 am

  • 8:30 am - Check-in - Dulany Library Auditorium
  • 9:15 am - Ivy Chain Ceremony
  • 10:00 am - Commencement Ceremony - Cutlip Auditorium - McNutt Campus Center
  • Reception following ceremony - McNutt Campus Center

Master and Doctorate Degrees

Saturday, May 7th, 2016 - 2:00 pm

  • 12:30 pm - Check-in - Dulany Library Auditorium
  • 2:00 pm - Commencement Ceremony - Cutlip Auditorium - McNutt Campus Center
  • Reception following ceremony - McNutt Campus Center

Graduates planning to participate in the commencement ceremony must take the following steps (click on each link to complete the step):

  1. Order your regalia through Herff Jones by April, 11th, 2016, to avoid a late fee.  Late orders will be charged a late fee and will be accepted until 11:59 pm on April, 17th, 2016. Orders will not be accepted after April 17th. 

  2. Registration is not yet open for the May 2016 commencement ceremony. This link will be made available when registration is open. Please contact Janice Tate at for any assistance.

  3. Complete the Press Release Form if you want your graduation information printed in your local paper.

Commencement ceremonies are held in Cutlip Auditorium located in the McNutt Campus Center and typically last about one hour. Students will assemble in the Library Auditorium, and should be there no later than one hour prior to the scheduled commencement ceremony. 


Tickets are distributed based on the number you request and the number of graduates participating in the commencement ceremony. We anticipate that each graduate will receive five tickets; however, this number is subject to change. All persons entering Cutlip Auditorium will need a ticket, regardless of age. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Do not request a ticket for yourself. You will have a reserved seat!

Live video will be available approximately 15 minutes before each ceremony at this link:

Graduation Fee:

A non-waivable $100 graduation fee must be paid to William Woods financial services before your diploma will be released. All graduates must pay this fee, even if they are not participating in the graduation ceremony. The fee will be added to your accounts receivable statement approximately one month prior to graduation. The graduation fee does not cover the cost of your cap and gown. Order your cap and gown through Herff Jones at the link above.

Official Diplomas:

Diplomas are not issued at the ceremony. If you have successfully completed all coursework and your account is clear, your diploma will be mailed to you six to eight weeks after graduation. The name on your diploma will be the exact name William Woods has on record. For name changes or personal information updates please contact the Registrar's Office at 573.592.4249 at least 4 weeks before graduation. Friday, April 8th, 2016 is the last day a name change may be made to your diploma without a $50 fee.


Printed invitations and announcements for mailing to family and friends may be ordered from Herff Jones (see above link). All regalia must be ordered from Herff Jones. You are only required to order regalia. All other purchases from Herff Jones are voluntary. The deadline to register to participate in the ceremony and to order regalia without a late fee is April 11th, 2016, at 11:59 pm. 

When you receive your regalia, check it with the following list to make sure you have the correct colors, etc.

  • Associates: Gray cap and gown with white tassel
  • BA: Black cap and gown with white tassel
  • BFA: Black cap and gown with brown tassel
  • BS: Black cap and gown with gold tassel
  • BSW: Black cap and gown with light yellow tassel
  • MBA: Black cap and gown with drab/green hood and drab tassel
  • MED: Black cap and gown with blue/green hood and blue tassel
  • EDS: Black cap and gown with blue/burgundy hood and blue tassel
  • EDD: Black tam/gold tassel, black gown/blue chevrons and front plaque, black hood blue/green bands.

If you receive incorrect regalia, please call Herff Jones Customer Service at 800-837-4235.

Dress Code:

Business casual, no flip-flops or tennis shoes. Only dark shoes are appropriate with academic regalia. Please leave all personal belongings with a friend or family member i.e., purses, phones, coats, etc. You will not be allowed to carry anything with you during the procession or as you cross the stage.


Professional Photos

A professional photographer will be provided by GradImages. Photographs may be purchased at a cost determined by GradImages. There is no obligation to purchase the photographs, and there is no cost for the service. GradImages offers a $5 discount on any photo order over $25 if you register your e-mail address prior to graduation at . Click on Pre-Event Registration at top of page. Proofs from the ceremony will be sent to your e-mail address. Contact information for customers is 800.261.2576 or

Area Accommodations

For information on accommodations, please contact the Chamber of Commerce of Callaway County at 573.642.3055 or the Heart of Missouri Tourism Center at 573.642.7692. 

Driving directions Campus Map (PDF)

For other questions, please contact Janice Tate at or call 573.592.1174.

Although commencement is not a required activity, William Woods University encourages you to participate. Commencement marks a very important step in life as an occasion of celebration and achievement. You have worked very hard, and this ceremony gives the university the opportunity to congratulate you.