University celebrations planned for upcoming graduates

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Toni Woolfork-Barnes.

Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes, director of the WMU Office of Student Transitions, will speak at the Celebration of Excellence on Saturday, April 13.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will celebrate graduating students in several special programs during the weeks leading up to Spring Commencement ceremonies held Saturday, April 27, for the entire University.

  • The Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services will host its annual Lavender Graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Fetzer Center. The free and open celebration recognizes LBGTQ students' contributions to the University and acknowledges their achievements throughout their college experience. Students are recognized for their leadership, success and achievement. This is also an opportunity to recognize faculty, staff, or WMU groups who have made a significant contribution to the LBGTQ community at the University. For more information, email or visit Lavender Graduation.
    Students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators will gather Saturday, April 13, to honor graduating students of color at WMU. The Celebration of Excellence, set for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's North Ballroom, is a collaboration between WMU student groups and these administrative areas: Academic Affairs, Development and Alumni Relations, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This is the fourth year for the annual event, which began as an initiative of the Western Student Association. Guest speaker for the event is Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes, director of the Office of Student Transitions. For more information, email Enedelia Cruz at
  • The Kalamazoo Campus Hooding and Pinning Ceremony for the School of Social Work will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom. This event is for main campus social work graduates only. Grand Rapids and Southwest locations will host separate events for their students. No tickets are required, but space is limited. Contact Jennifer Klauth, manager of recruitment and outreach, at or (269) 387-3200 for more information.
  • About 120 honors students will be recognized at the Lee Honors College graduation ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center. A reception is planned earlier at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Iyanah Carmichael, graduation coordinator, at or (269) 387-3267.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.