To the Parents of Graduating Seniors

April 6, 2016 

We are quickly approaching the end of the academic year and the Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2016. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. on The Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall. Chair seating for the traditional campus outdoor ceremony will be provided on the lawn of the Eckley Quadrangle. We ask that guests be seated no later than 12:30 p.m. so the processional of graduates and faculty can begin.

Our alumni speaker is Bill Damaschke who graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1985 with a BFA in Music and Theatre and was a Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2011. Bill is an independent theatrical Producer whose projects currently include the Broadway-bound musical, Gotta Dance. Prior to working independently, he spent the last twenty years at DreamWorks Animation, fifteen as Chief Creative Officer. He oversaw twenty eight of the company‚Äôs animated released including:  Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, The Croods and How to Train Your Dragons 2.

The Commencement ceremony is outdoors, even in a light rain and cool temperatures, so please plan accordingly. In the event of heavy rains or weather alerts, we will relocate the ceremony and reception to the Shirk Center where seating is very limited. Four tickets for reserved seating in the Shirk Performance Arena are enclosed in this mailing for the families of the graduates, along with a brochure listing additional seating venues and other important information for all guests. Please note that a live webcast of the ceremony will be streamed on our website so that those who cannot attend can still watch the entire ceremony. Students are receiving this information by email and are advised to review the brochure and all future communications at   

Following the two-hour ceremony, join us for our traditional strawberries and scones reception on the Eckley Quadrangle or in the Shirk Center Activity Area. The faculty and staff who guided your son or daughter over the past few years will greet you at sites identified by signs indicating the name of the department. They join with me in celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2016 and offering their best wishes. We all hope to see you on May 1.



Eric R. Jensen