Commencement

Quick Links

  • Graduate RSVP – The form to submit an RSVP is now closed.
  • Student Speaker Nomination – The form to submit a student speaker is now closed.
  • Student Regalia Order – The form to order regalia is now closed.

Quick Facts

  • Upcoming Date: Friday, June 21, 2024
  • Time: Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Guest seating will open at 10:30 a.m.
  • Location: Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom, 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Commencement Information

Graduate Timeline

8:30 a.m.         Graduates arrive – go to check-in table first

9:15 a.m.         Line up for dress rehearsal

9:30 a.m.         Dress rehearsal

10:15 a.m.       Graduate class photos

10:30 a.m.      Guest seating begins

10:50 a.m.       Processional lines up – same order as for rehearsal

11:00 a.m.       Commencement ceremony begins

12:30 p.m.       Approximate end time for the commencement ceremony

Commencement Guides:

Day-of Information

  • 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.
  • You may park in the underground parking garage at the Oregon Convention Center. One parking voucher per graduate will be distributed by email prior to the ceremony.
  • COVID-19 Safety. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or if you test positive, please stay home and email [email protected] We can include you to participate remotely, so that you can still be recognized during the ceremony. Please do not come in person if you are sick.

Eligibility

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

  • Their degree requirements were completed in a previous term (e.g., winter);
  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements during the term that commencement is held (e.g., spring);
  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements within two academic terms following commencement (e.g., summer or fall).

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

  • Their degree requirements were completed in a previous term (e.g., fall, winter);
  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements during the term that commencement is held (e.g., spring); or
  • They are on track to complete their degree requirements within one academic term following commencement (e.g., summer).

Students who are concurrently enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic degree and the Master of Science degree in Sports Medicine should follow the eligibility criteria for students in the college of chiropractic.

Students who are enrolled in the Doctor of Education in Sport and Performance Psychology with a Clinical Mental Health Specialization should follow the eligibility criteria for the EdD program. Students in the EdD SPP/CMHC program that complete the master’s in CMHC requirements will receive their diploma after completion of the master’s requirements.

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

Regalia and Stoles

  • Oak Hall Student Regalia Ordering Site – Link no longer available for 2024
  • Faculty and Staff Regalia Ordering Form– Link no longer available for 2024

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. You will need to put on your regalia as soon as you arrive to the staging room at the convention center.

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.

Do I qualify to receive an honors cord?

  • GPA requirements to receive graduation honors are as follows:
  • DC Program: cumulative GPA or of 3.5 or higher
  • All other programs: cumulative GPA of 3.95 or higher

Do I qualify to receive a veteran’s cord?

  • If you have served or are currently serving in the military (U.S. or Canadian), you may self-select to receive a veteran’s cord as part of your RSVP for commencement. UWS will order cords for attendees who qualify, at no cost to the graduate.

How do I order my honors cords or veteran’s cords?

  • UWS will provide honors cords and/or veteran’s cords to each qualifying graduate who attends the in-person commencement ceremony, at no cost to the graduate. UWS provides honors cords and veteran’s cords only to graduates who attend the in-person ceremony. The university does not ship these items.

Can I wear a stole that is not UWS provided?

  • Wearing a stole is a way for students to show pride in their heritage, share their cultural backgrounds and their involvement while at University of Western States. Candidates may personally purchase stoles to wear at Commencement to honor their identities and involvement. UWS does not provide funding for stoles to individuals or clubs.

Parking, Transportation and Travel


Parking

  • Graduates and employees will each receive one (1) parking voucher for the Oregon Convention Center. The voucher will be emailed to participants closer to the ceremony date.
  • 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.

Alumni Reception and Other Activities

Alumni Welcome Reception

Celebrate your transition from student to alumni, UWS Office of Advancement is hosting an alumni welcome reception. Family and friends of the graduates are welcome!

  • Date: Thursday, June 20th
  • Time: 4-6 p.m. (drop in anytime)
  • Location: UWS Campus

For those visiting from out of town, here are some resources to help you explore the surrounding area.

Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. L. David Peeace, B.Sc., D.C., C. Dir, 1996 graduate of University of Western States (UWS), has been named the 2019 UWS Alumnus of the Year. Over the span of Dr. Peeace’s professional career, he has been a leader in best practices in chiropractic care both in direct care of patients and in service on numerous professional organizations, including as immediate past chair of the Canadian Chiropractic Association and current chair of the Steering Committee for the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.

In addition, Dr. Peeace is a mentor for indigenous youth, having spoken at numerous indigenous educational events and having paved the way for future generations as the first indigenous chiropractic physician to practice in Saskatchewan. Always a voice for compassion and quality of patient care, Dr. Peeace’s career exemplifies the UWS motto, “for the good of the patient.”

Student Speaker

Khatija Bakhtiyarova 

Accessibility

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations, please email [email protected].  A good-faith effort to arrange accommodations for requests will be made.

Anyone needing a wheel chair or scooter, will work directly with the Oregon Convention Center to make reservations. For accessibility questions about the Oregon Convention Center, please visit the website.  

FAQs

Guest information

We are delighted to welcome guests to the June 2024 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.

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. 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.