December 7, 2010

To the Class of 2011 and their Families:

I am pleased to report that Illinois Wesleyan University will celebrate Commencement on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at the close of its 161st Year.  Although the ceremony is several months away, I thought it would be useful to provide some information to help you plan for this important event.  Information for graduates will be sent to their IWU e-mail account and also will be posted on the Commencement website. 

The processional of graduates and faculty will begin at 12:45 p.m. on the Eckley Quadrangle, with the ceremony scheduled for 1:00 p.m.  Our traditional strawberries and scones reception to honor the graduates and their families will occur immediately following the two-hour ceremony.  Faculty members will look forward to greeting you on the Quad.

The ceremony is held outdoors even in a light rain or cool temperatures, and I encourage you to prepare appropriately so you are comfortable for the day.  In the event of heavy rains or severe weather alerts, we will relocate the ceremony and reception indoors to the Shirk Center on campus.  Because indoor seating is quite limited, the family of each graduating senior will receive four tickets for guaranteed seating in the Shirk Center Performance Arena.  Other guests may view a remote simulcast of the indoor ceremony at two locations—the Shirk Center Practice Gym and the Hansen Student Center. 

The University is pleased to provide the caps, gowns and hoods that graduates wear for the May 1 Commencement ceremony and also for the University’s Honors Convocation on April 13, 2011.   Graduating seniors may place their orders on January 18 and 19, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center.  On-line ordering will also be offered until March 7, and we will provide a website link to graduates when that on-line system is ready.   Students who have conflicts or are studying off campus should order their academic regalia on-line or contact the IWU Bookstore to make other arrangements before March 7.

Vendors will also be on site on January 18 and 19 for graduates to purchase personalized announcements and class rings if they wish.  The Commencement photo vendor will distribute cards so that students can pre-register to receive free color proofs on-line after the ceremony (since the University does not distribute email addresses to third parties). Delivery of the cap and gown orders will occur on April 11 and 12, 2011.

All Commencement information and updates will be posted on the University website at  The tickets required for guaranteed seating, if an indoor ceremony is necessary, and other information will be mailed to families in early April.

I hope this final year for the IWU Class of 2011 is filled with joy and achievement.  I look forward to greeting you at the Commencement ceremony on May 1.