Congratulations to the Winona State University Graduate Studies Class of 2020!

We were not able to gather in person for a commencement ceremony this year due to the global pandemic, so the WSU community joined together for a one-of-a-kind virtual celebration. Some of the students from the WSU Graduate Studies Class of 2020 helped us continue the tradition of the hooding ceremony by sharing videos and pictures of their own backyard hooding ceremonies performed with their families.

In the traditional hooding ceremony, each graduate receives an academic hood from a faculty member from their program. Due to the necessary physical distancing requirements in place at this time, our graduates invited their at-home loved ones to participate in this ceremony. We asked these graduates, “Who hooded you?” to find out how the people at home were stepping up to help provide this meaningful commencement moment.

We invite you to perform your own hooding ceremony at home and share it with us on social media with the hashtags #WhoHoodedYou and #WSUGradStudies.

Please use this opportunity to give a shout out to the special people in your life that helped get you to commencement.

Thank you to the following students for sharing their photos and videos, and a big congratulations to the entire WSU Graduate Studies Class of 2020.

  • Julie Kiehne, MS-Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership
  • Abbie McGee, MS-Nurse Educator
  • Elizabeth Niehaus, MS-Sport Management
  • Tracy Hale, MS-Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership
  • Amy Henderson, MS-Nurse Educator
  • Hana Splitgerber, MS-Nurse Educator
  • Marissa Pederson, DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner


About the Hooding Ceremony

In the traditional hooding ceremony each graduate receives an academic hood that signifies the field and the institution from which the degree was earned. The velvet identifies the field of the graduate’s degree and the purple and white sating indicates that the degree was earned at Winona State University.

As graduates you have earned the right to wear the academic regalia signifying the uniqueness of that accomplishment. Each graduate of a master’s program wears a black academic gown and each doctoral graduate wears a Winona State University purple gown.

If you do not have your traditional academic regalia, we encourage you to be resourceful this year and put together a hood and gown using whatever you have available at home.

To help inspire your own DIY regalia, check out this style guide from the American Council on Education.