188th Commencement Ceremony

All are welcome to attend Wesleyan’s 188th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 24 at 11 a.m. Faculty and Undergraduates assemble on the top of Foss Hill at 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place on Andrus Field in the center of campus, rain or shine, and will last approximately 2½ hours. The ceremony may also be viewed online. 

When finalized, details about this year's Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients will be found here.

Inclement Weather Plan

The Commencement Ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine. Under certain weather conditions, the ceremony may be shifted from the open field, where seating is unlimited, into the large tent on Andrus Field. Although the tent accommodates numerous spectators, seating is limited. In this scenario, we respectfully request that each graduate limit his/her guests to 3 seats under the tent.

Please come prepared with raincoats, umbrellas, and appropriate footwear. Ponchos will be provided.

Information will be posted on the Wesleyan homepage and the Reunion & Commencement website, and graduating seniors will be notified via email. Details will also be available at Registration (Exley Science Center).

The ceremony will be simulcast in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Ring Family Performing Arts Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150) at Exley Science Center, rain or shine. The ceremony may also be viewed online. Please check the Reunion landing page or the WesCast (webcast) page for details the week of May 18, 2020. 

Following the ceremony

A gathering celebrating the Class of 2020 will take place immediately following the Commencement ceremony. Families and students who wish to meet during the reception are encouraged to identify a “meeting place” in advance (e.g., one of the buildings on College Row). Light refreshments will be available.


On campus registration is located at the Exley Science Center (Show in Map). 

On-site registration hours:

Thursday, May 21: 2–9 p.m.
Friday, May 22: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, May 23: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, May 24: 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Who should register?

All alumni should register for the weekend, parents and families of graduating seniors should register if they’re planning to attend any fee-based events, or if they’d like to have a welcome packet of information (including nametags for all registrants) when they arrive on campus for the weekend. You do not have to register to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

Caps and Gowns

Beginning January 27, students will be able to purchase their cap and gown regalia (via credit card) from the following Oak Hall website: https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome  

Students will either choose a Bachelor Package, Masters Package, or Doctor Package. The website will guide you to the correct gown size by asking height and weight questions. Students can also stop by the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore – starting Monday, February 10th – to try on sample sizes before ordering on line.

All Bachelor Regalia will be shipped to the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore and will be available for pick up starting Monday, May 4th. Students will have until March 15th to purchase their caps and gowns on line.

Masters and PHD candidates will either elect to pick up their package at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore or have it sent to their home address.
• Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their regalia shipped to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore must order online by April 8th. Masters and PHD regalia will be available for pick up at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore starting Friday, May 15th.
• Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their caps and gowns shipped to a home address will have until May 10th to order online.

Please note: For those who don’t have the financial resources, loaner caps and gowns are available through the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore. Distribution of loaner graduation cap & gown will be limited to the week of May 11th. For further information, email Paula Page ppage@wesleyan.edu or visit her at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore. Supplies are limited.

Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore: 413 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 685-3939.
Store Hours: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Parents and Grandparents who work in the field of education are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony

You will have the opportunity to sign up to be a Parent Educator beginning March 1. Check back here for more details.

Outdoor Commencement Ceremony on Andrus Field

Andrus Field is nestled in the center of campus. The ceremony takes place on Denison Terrace, which is parallel to the back of Olin Memorial Library and seating is available on Andrus Field.

Indoor (Simulcast) Locations

The ceremony is broadcast live (rain or shine) inside air-conditioned, accessible buildings on campus and on the web on WesCast. The simulcast locations are the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli '92 Theater, Ring Family Performing Arts Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150) at the Exley Science Center. The ceremony takes place rain or shine, and will last approximately 2–2½ hours. The ceremony may also be viewed online.


All are welcome to attend Wesleyan's 188th Commencement Ceremony. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony. The 5,000 chairs on Andrus Field (some are outside, some under the large tent with full view of the podium) are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is additional room for seating on Foss Hill (bring a blanket or folding chairs). Graduating seniors will receive ten Commencement announcements from the Deans Office that they can share with their family and friends.


Wesleyan is bottled water-free. We encourage guests to bring their own beverage of choice.  The ceremony is out in the open and will last approximately 2 hours. Reusable bottles (for purchase) and water stations are available inside nearby buildings (Usdan University Center, Zelnick Pavilion) and at a water station outside the Memorial Chapel. 

Visitors with Disabilities

The University is committed to full access and reasonable accommodations for all people. Please find more information on the Reunion & Commencement Weekend Accessibility page.


A sign language interpreter is present at the Commencement Ceremony. Requests for CART services must be made by April 5. 


Wesleyan provides up to 3 seats in the accessible seating area. We ask that at least one guest/escort remain with the person requiring accessible seating for the duration of the ceremony. Arrangements can be made for additional guests if necessary. Please be advised that the accessible seating section is located outdoors on an open, grassy field. Guests should come prepared for appropriate weather conditions (hat, umbrella, water bottles, etc.) as these seats are exposed to the elements. Real time simulcasts of the ceremony are available indoors for guests who would be more comfortable there. Reservations do not need to be made for the indoor simulcasts. Please fill out this form to reserve seats in the accessibility seating section. 


Navigating campus with the anticipated high volume of guests and cars can be challenging. In addition, weather can also be unpredictable. As such, we offer two options to view the ceremonies remotely – online via WesCast and in indoor viewing location(s) on campus. The simulcast locations are the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli '92 Theater, Center for the Arts Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150) at the Exley Science Center.


Mobility impaired guests may park in the "C" lot off of Church Street or the Office of Admission parking lot. University staff and students driving golf carts will be available at each lot to assist in transporting guests to-and-from the accessibility section on Andrus Field. Drivers may also drop of guests on Wyllys Avenue and then park elsewhere. Visitors needing accessible parking may also utilize any of the designated spaces on campus with a properly displayed state-issued plate or placard from any state. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 


​Throughout the weekend, accessible portable restrooms will be available wherever portable restrooms are provided. In addition, accessible restrooms are located in buildings throughout campus where events are held. Details can be found on Wesleyan's accessibility map

SPECIAL SERVICES SHUTTLE (on campus rides for those with mobility concerns)

Wesleyan's Transportation Department provides a shuttle for people with disabilities or medical conditions to locations throughout the campus during Reunion & Commencement Weekend. The shuttle is wheelchair accessible. Please indicate if wheelchair access is needed when you call.

Rides should be scheduled during the weekend (please allow up to 30 minutes). Special shuttle services are available Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. by calling (860) 982-8031 during the weekend to make arrangements.


Guests needing wheelchairs should must arrangements to bring their own; wheelchairs are not provided. Wheelchairs can often be rented from a local medical supply store in your community, but are not available from the University.


Please provide ample notice (two week minimum) when requesting accommodations. Wesleyan may not be able to accommodate requests that are made on short notice, that would pose an undue hardship, or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the University's events or programs.