Congratulations, class of 2019! The big day is drawing near. I know you have probably gotten a ton of emails regarding preparing for commencement, but if you’re anything like me… you just pin them as important and go back to job hunting and homework without reading the entire email. So, I’ve collected the important info for you and put it all in one neat little spot. You’re welcome.


A WSU student holding the new graduation tickets.

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Planning for Family/Friends


1. Tickets

Wondering where to get your four tickets for commencement? Tickets will first be available & distributed at the Warrior Graduate Celebration Thurs, April 11 from 9am-3pm in the SAC, Kryzsko Commons. After the event, tickets will be available at the Warrior Hub in Winona (Maxwell 2nd floor) or Student and Campus Services in Rochester (SS 128).


2. Hotel Reservations

If your family is planning on staying in or near Winona the night before or after graduation, make sure they have hotel reservations. Many places are already booked out, so if they can’t find a place to stay perhaps they could rent an Airbnb or a nearby campground?


3. Celebration time!

Where are you planning on celebrating after you walk across the stage? I would plan on calling ahead to try to make reservations around town or pick a spot that’s out of the way. Luckily the commencement ceremonies are pretty spread out this semester, so maybe that will help a little bit.


Personal Checklist


1. Gown. Tassels. Honor Cords.

April 11 is a busy day, my friends. From 8am-7:30pm, the bookstore will be open so you can purchase your cap, gown and tassels for 20% off. These things can’t be charged to your student account, so remember to bring cash or a card. You can also order online if you can’t make it to the store.


WSU graduates taking a selfie together

Photo by Lifetouch Inc.


2. Grad Caps

If you plan to decorate your grad cap, make sure it follows the appropriate guidelines. They will most likely look over your cap as you check in before the ceremony; they do have blank backup caps ready to go in case any guidelines are not followed. Follow the rules and keep your cap.


WSU students decorated their graduation caps for commencement.

Photo by Brooke Powell ’21


Helpful Hints

I work for the university and have personally been to all commencement ceremonies since my sophomore year. Believe me when I tell you that while these tips may seem obvious, they are not.


1. Safety pins

Honor cords can’t hold themselves up, folks. If your GPA is high enough to get honor cords, then I’m sure you can remember a safety pin. But I have been wrong before.


2. Mint Anyone?

Remember that part of the day when you’ll walk across a stage, receive your diploma and have your picture taken? Gum isn’t cute in photos. Sub it for a mint, my friends. You’ll feel fresh and look good.


3. Parking

No matter how many people carpool, parking on commencement day is still scarce. Might I suggest having the good Samaritan of the group provide your grandparents and perhaps you, the graduate, with curbside drop-off? No matter how early you show up – someone else probably camped out for a parking spot. Just kidding! But seriously, plan ahead for parking.


4. Pictures

Plan out a spot to meet up with your family away from the gym after the ceremony to take photos. The gym reminds me of a happy little zoo after the ceremony: you likely won’t get any good pictures near there without other people walking through your photo. Also, the lighting isn’t great. Think of a few key spots to get your family’s photo taken so you can get it over with and head out to celebrate!


A WSU graduate with her family.

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20


Even if all I did was remind you of something important on your personal preparation checklist, I hope this information was helpful. So now, without further ado, go forth and graduate, my little birds. You’ve earned it!