Commencement

Quick Facts

  • Upcoming Date: Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Time: Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Guest seating will open at 10 a.m.
  • Location: Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232
  • Safety Requirements: For everyone five years of age or older, face coverings required; for everyone twelve years of age or older, proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the ceremony required. Attendees 12 and older will need to bring photo ID along with their proof of vaccination or recent negative test results.

Grad Checklist

Please review the Commencement Ceremony Graduate Guide for detailed information about the ceremony. Contact [email protected] if you have questions that aren’t answered by the guide. Graduate Timeline 8:45 a.m.  –  Graduates arrive – go to check-in table first 9 a.m.  –  Line up for dress rehearsal 9:15 a.m.  –  Dress rehearsal 10 a.m.  –  Guest seating begins 10:10 a.m.  –  Graduate class photos 10:50 a.m.  –  Processional lines up – same order as for rehearsal 11 a.m.  –  Commencement ceremony begins 12:30 p.m.  –  Approximate end time for the commencement ceremony Day-of Information

  • Photo ID and Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination/Recent Negative Test. Remember to bring your photo ID and proof of vaccination/recent negative test (within 72 hours). See the Commencement Ceremony Graduate Guide for additional information.
  • Face Coverings. Face coverings are required inside the OCC. You must wear your face covering at all time.
  • Please come with your regalia steamed and ready-to-wear. Do not press the regalia with high heat, as it can damage the material. You will pick up your honors cords, veteran’s cords, and/or master’s degree stoles, if applicable, when you check in.
  • We recommend wearing comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in. There are 2-3 stairs up to the stage.
  • Coffee, tea and water will be available in the staging room.
  • To minimize people removing their face coverings, food service will not be available in the staging room. We recommend eating a substantial breakfast on the day of the ceremony.
  • You may park in the underground parking garage at the Oregon Convention Center. One parking voucher per graduate will be distributed after the ceremony at the graduate check-in table in the staging room.

Eligibility

Students in the college of chiropractic are eligible to participate in commencement if:

  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements during the term that commencement is held;
  • The degree requirements were met in a previous term; or
  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements in the term immediately following commencement.

Students in the college of graduate studies are eligible to participate in commencement if:

  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements during the term that commencement is held; or
  • The degree requirements were met in a previous term.

Participating in the commencement ceremony does not signify completion of your academic program. Questions about your eligibility to participate can be sent to [email protected].

Regalia

Graduates and faculty, please arrive at the ceremony with your regalia steamed and ready-to-wear. Do not press the regalia with high heat, as it can damage the material. Graduates will pick up honors cords, veteran’s cords, and/or master’s degree stoles, if applicable, at the check-in table upon arrival. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in. There are 2-3 stairs up to the commencement stage. Please review these videos showing how to wear master’s and doctoral regalia prior to the ceremony. You will need to put on your regalia as soon as you arrive to the staging room at the convention center.

Required Safety Precautions

To comply with Oregon state requirements, the Oregon Convention Center has implemented the following measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection:

  • Face coverings are required for attendees five years or older within all indoor settings at the Oregon Convention Center.
  • Required proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event for all attendees 12 years and older.
  • Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test status will be verified at the entrance to the venue. Attendees 12 years and older will need to bring both proof of vaccination/negative test result and a photo ID for verification at the door.

All UWS graduates, employees, and guests are required to comply with the both the face covering and vaccination/testing requirements. For more information about the venue’s COVID-19 vaccination/testing requirement, please visit the Oregon Convention Center webpage. For more information about the state face covering requirement, please visit the Oregon Secretary of State webpage.

Parking, Transportation and Travel

Parking

  • All graduates will be given one parking voucher for the Oregon Convention Center. Vouchers will be available after the ceremony for graduates and employees (one a piece) at the UWS info table in the commencement dressing area.
  • All other parking is the responsibility of the other drivers.
  • Details for the OCC garage can be found here.

Public Transportation

  • Graduates may request two one-way MAX tickets in lieu of a parking voucher. Arrange to pick up tickets by contacting [email protected].
  • Stop ID 8341 goes eastbound from the convention center, while Stop ID 8376 goes west-bound
  • From the Portland International Airport, there are transportation options including shuttles (many airport hotels offer free services), taxicabs and ride service options (e.g. Lyft and Uber), as well as the MAX light rail. For more information, check here.

Lodging There are many hotels to choose from in the Portland area. To help with your selection, please visit www.travelportland.com for information on Portland hotels.

Activities

Alumni Welcome Reception University of Western States is hosting a drop-in alumni welcome reception to celebrate our December 2021 graduates. Thursday, December 16 Atrium of the UWS Campus 5 – 7 p.m. (come and go) Family and friends of the graduates are welcome to this informal reception. The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres and complimentary professional headshots for graduating students. To attend, please RSVP here. Explore For those visiting from out of town, here are some resources to help you explore the surrounding area.

Speakers

We are pleased to announce that Minga Guerrero, DC will be the keynote speaker at the December 2021 commencement ceremony. Dr. Guerrero is a UWS alumna with a long history of service to the fields of chiropractic and integrated medicine. Dr. Guerrero was named the 2018 UWS Alumna of the Year. We are delighted to welcome her as our keynote speaker. Read more about Dr. Guerrero.

Commencement Information

Graduates – please review the Graduate Guide for detailed information about commencement. Guests – please review the Guest Guide for detailed information about commencement. Please email [email protected] if you have questions that are not answered in the guides.

FAQs for Winter 2021

Guest information We are delighted to welcome guests to the December 2021 commencement ceremony! Guests do not require tickets to attend, and there is not a specific limit on the number of guests that graduates can invite. Guests are required to follow the COVID-19 safety precautions outlined in the “Required Safety Precautions” section. Guests may also review the Guest Guide for more information. Gifts for graduates Gifts for Graduates Guests are welcome to bring gifts for graduates; however any distracting items or items that will obscure other guests’ views will need to be located at the side or back of the ballroom. Please note that helium-filled balloons are not permitted in any part of the Oregon Convention Center (OCC). No exceptions. Photos Two professional photos will be taken of you during the commencement ceremony. You can purchase copies of these photos a few days after the ceremony at www.gradimages.com. Photos from throughout the day will also promptly be posted on UWS social media. Check them out here later on the day of graduation. Photo 1 – While shaking hands with Dr. Brimhall as he hands you the diploma cover. Photo 2 – After you leave the stage stand in front of the background holding your diploma for a ¾ length photo. Program Completion Fee In summer 2021, UWS discontinued the program completion fee that was previously assessed to cover some of the costs associated with commencement, including the printing and mailing of diplomas and the purchasing of regalia. This fee was previously assessed in a student’s final term at UWS. Moving forward, in lieu of the fee, those students who are participating in commencement will be responsible for purchasing their own regalia through a third party. Information about ordering regalia will be shared with students as they approach graduation. Other costs associated with program completion and commencement will come from the university operational budget.