WMU to confer more than 1,700 degrees during fall commencement

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of WMU President Edward Montgomery wearing his red and black academic regalia.

WMU President Edward Montgomery

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will grant degrees to more than 1,700 students during three commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 16, in Miller Auditorium.

This will mark the first time President Edward Montgomery will preside over graduation exercises at WMU. Montgomery will present a total of 1,734 diplomas on behalf of the University: 1,260 at the bachelor's level, 443 at the master's level and 31 at the doctoral level.


All three fall ceremonies will last about two hours and be geared toward students who are graduating from a particular set of degree-granting academic units.

  • The 9 a.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Education and Human Development and Haworth College of Business.
  • The noon ceremony is for graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, and Extended University Programs.
  • The 3 p.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Aviation, and College of Fine Arts.

December's graduation exercises will feature music by the Western Brass Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Stephen M. Wolfinbarger. The national anthem and alma mater will be sung by the University's chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia professional music fraternity, conducted by Ethan Fegan.


Tickets are required for guests to attend commencement, and each participating student is eligible to reserve up to four guest tickets. All seats are general admission. Guests who need accessible seating or other accessibility services should call (269) 387-2320 to make arrangements.

Graduates who reserve their tickets before Friday, Dec. 8, may request up to two additional tickets from Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 12-14. While quantities last, additional tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests without tickets may view the commencement ceremonies live on a large screen in 2028 Brown Hall, which is near Miller.

More information about the ticketing process and how to use electronic tickets is available at wmich.edu/commencement/tickets.

Live coverage, photos

Two male students in graduation caps and gowns use their diploma folders to catch some of the confetti being dropped during their commencement ceremony.

All of the fall ceremonies will be broadcast live on Channel 5 of EduCABLE, the University's cable television system, and throughout the Kalamazoo area on Public Media Network Channel 191, a local public access channel on the Charter Communications commercial cable television system.

A live webcast of the ceremonies also will be available online the day of graduation. A maximum of 1,000 connections will be accepted. Not all browsers are compatible with the commencement stream. For instructions on how to view the live webcast, visit wmich.edu/commencement/broadcasts.

A professional photographer will take pictures of each graduating student. Color proofs will be sent to the students, but purchase of prints is optional.

Parking, other details

Free parking will be available in all parking areas adjacent to Miller Auditorium. Commencement guests should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before each ceremony. The address to use if locating Miller by GPS or online driving directions is: 2200 Auditorium Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008.

WMU only conducts formal graduation exercises after the fall and spring semesters and the summer I session, although students also may graduate after the summer II session. A final list of fall 2017 graduates is expected to be distributed to hometown newspapers in February.

For complete graduation information, including directions to WMU and how to obtain tickets or view the live webcast, visit wmich.edu/commencement. Direct questions to the Registrar's Office at (269) 387-4300.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.