Commencement June 12, 2021
Check back here on June 1 to find out what time your ceremony is scheduled. Spanish language captions and American Sign Language will be available.
President Sabah Randhawa, Presiding
- National Anthem
- Commencement History
- Message from President Sabah
- Student Life Montage
- Student Roll Call
- Student Speaker
- Faculty and Staff Congrats
- Dean's Message
- PhD Degrees Graduate Slides
- Master’s Degree Graduate Slides
- Bachelor’s Degree Graduate Slides
- Family Celebrations
- Message from the Alumni Association
- Closing Remarks
- Alma Mater
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Winter 2021 Graduates Only
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and Alumni Way
Memory Walk has been a commencement tradition since 1912. Each year, a stone representing the graduating class is laid in the sidewalk that runs parallel to the facade of Old Main, Western’s first building. Beneath each of these class stones lie time capsules. During our virtual ceremony, students are encouraged to add memorabilia to the time capsule by mailing items to the Registrar's Office on campus or by submitting items digitally.
The Mace and Pendant
Devices used during ceremonial occasions, the Mace and Pendant are both covered in historical symbolism.
Made of rosewood and silver, the mace has a wooden staff surmounted by a silver casting of a Viking ship. This sits at the front of the commencement podium. The top‑most circular band has the name of the University engraved and inlaid with blue enamel. The bottom of this ceremonial staff is a silver‑cast flame, symbolic of enlightenment.
The pendant worn by President Sabah is made of silver with a gold flame in the center. The gold flame is emblematic of the torch of learning, as it combines the intellectual and spiritual qualities of illumination, enlightenment, and inspiration.
The commencement podium was designed and hand-crafted in Fall, 2014 by Randy Stribling, a local alumnus of Western Washington University. The pieces were built with sustainably yielded African Mahogany and faux ebony plugs to complement the chairs on the dais. The style is Greene and Greene, an elegant form of the Craftsman style popular in the early 20th century. When Western began as the Washington State Normal School at Bellingham at the turn of the last century, the Craftsman or Mission style of furniture was used extensively throughout the campus. Many examples can still be found tucked away in Old Main and elsewhere around the university.
of Western Washington University
Western's first science classrooms were in Old Main, as in this 1910 photo. Photo courtesy of Western Libraries Special Collections.
Gov. Clarence D. Martin and President Charles H. Fisher with Western's first Bachelor of Arts in Education degree recipients in 1933. Photo courtesy of Western Libraries Special Collections.
Amanda "Peanutt" Ngeth and her grandmother Khon Pok pose for family photos at spring 2014 commencement. Photo by Dan Levine for WWU.
President Sabah Randhawa speaks during Western's first virtual commencement in June 2020.