WMU to confer more than 2,400 degrees during spring commencement

Contact: Jeanne Baron

A grinning male student embraces President Montgomery while receiving his diploma.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will grant degrees to more than 2,400 students during four commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 28, in Miller Auditorium.

WMU President Edward Montgomery will officiate during the four ceremonies. Montgomery will award 2,462 diplomas on behalf of the University: 1,901 at the bachelor's level, 519 at the master's level and 42 at the doctoral level.

This spring's graduates will represent 22 countries and include 50 military veterans.

Those attending commencement should note that backpacks of any kind are strictly prohibited in Miller Auditorium. In addition, bags and purses should be no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, or about the size of a small handbag or clutch purse. Larger bags not returned to a vehicle may be searched.


All four 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 College of Fine Arts.
  • The noon ceremony is for graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and College of Health and Human Services.
  • The 3 p.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Aviation, Haworth College of Business and Extended University Programs.
  • The 6 p.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences.

April'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. All seats are general admission. Guests who need accessible seating or other accessibility services should call (269) 387-2320 to make arrangements. Guests without tickets may view the commencement ceremonies live on a large screen in 2028 Brown Hall, which is near Miller.

Students participating in graduation exercises may reserve up to four guest tickets. Those who are eligible to do so and who meet the deadline may request up to two additional tickets while quantities last. These additional tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information about the ticketing process is available at wmich.edu/commencement/tickets.

Live coverage, photos

A hood is draped over the shoulders of a female graduate student, showing her newly earned academic status.

All of the spring ceremonies will be broadcast live on Channel 5.1 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 the 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 spring 2018 graduates is expected to be distributed to hometown newspapers in June.

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.