Commencement is quickly approaching for thousands of graduates, and can be many students’ chance to celebrate and be recognized for their achievements in front of their friends and families. Commencement will be on June 8 and requires that graduates order a cap and gown set which is $65 for those getting their bachelor’s degrees and $40 for those getting their master’s.
One of this year’s graduates is mathematics education and elementary education double major Kassie Hill. Hill thought that she wouldn’t be able to walk due to a CWU policy preventing those with student teaching or internships in the fall from walking until that requirement was fulfilled. Hill worked with ASCWU VP for Academic Affairs Claire-Anne Grepo and other student teachers to change this, and CWU amended this policy in late March.
Hill was able to petition and was granted the ability to walk on June 8 for commencement. Hill will be able to walk across the stage in front of her friends and family, including her grandmother who is flying to Washington from Virginia.
“Honestly, I feel so shocked about it because I wasn’t planning on walking because of the policy,” Hill said. “I’m so excited to walk across the stage and have my family there and see me graduate.”
Not all graduates are walking at commencement. Some are unable to for various reasons like moving to start their career, and others just don’t feel like they want to, such as history major Kara Chan who said that she is just focused on getting her degree.
“My family is supportive of me and all, but they’re busy and I’m busy and I think there will be other things for them to be at to show their support in my career,” Chan said.
Like all graduating students, Chan will receive her diploma in the mail about eight weeks after the commencement ceremony, according to CWU Registrar Services.
Whether they walk at commencement or not, after graduating, students become alumni. They will then have the choice to join the CWU Alumni Association directed by Alumni President Dan Nicklaus. By joining the alumni board, graduates will be able to attend social events like baseball games and dinners, connect with other alumni and go on subsidized trips to places like New Zealand and Europe. Cost for alumni association membership ranges between a $5 monthly plan and the $600 lifetime membership plan.
Nicklaus graduated in the class of 1997 with a political science degree. He said that commencement was his one last opportunity to celebrate his and his friends’ accomplishments.
“It meant so many things and it really felt like it was the end of the beginning,” Nicklaus said. “If you’re there to get the degree and bounce, do what you have to do, but this is our opportunity to recognize the students.”