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Congratulations, Wilberforce 2023 Graduates!

It’s our privilege to celebrate the 167th commencement ceremony, where we recognize the hard work and dedication of our graduating students. This event is a significant milestone in the academic and personal journey of our graduates, and we’re thrilled to celebrate with them and their loved ones.

Congratulations on completing your journey! Below is information to help you complete the final step and make it through your graduation ceremony seamlessly.


9:00 AM – Noon | Cap and Gown pick-up and Ticket Distribution | Location: Alumni Multiplex
Last Call!!! Cap, gowns, and tickets will not be available after 12:00pm

3:00 PM | Baccalaureate & Commencement Rehearsal | Location: Alumni Multiplex
Students should wear their caps, gown, and hood.
Rehearsal is mandatory for all graduates.

6:00 PM | Baccalaureate Service | Location: Alumni Multiplex
Line up begins at 5:00pm in foyer. Baccalaureate service is a mandatory event for all graduates.

Following Service| Baccalaureate Reception | Location: Alumni Multiplex
Light refreshments will be served following service.

8:00 AM | Doors Open for Commencement | Location: Health & Wellness Aerobics Room
All individuals with tickets will be admitted into the gym

8:00 AM | Student Arrival | Location: Health & Wellness Aerobics Room
All graduates must be on time in preparation for processional lineup

9:00 AM | Commencement Line Up | Location: Health & Wellness Aerobics Room
All graduates must be on time and line up no later than 8:30am.

9:45 AM |Commencement Processional | Location: Health & Wellness Aerobics Room
Faculty, Staff and Students will begin processing into the gym
Guests will not be admitted into the space until the processional is complete.

10:00 AM |Commencement Begins | Location: Health & Wellness Aerobics Room


Councilwoman Stephanie D. Howse
Ward 7, Cleveland City Council

Prior to joining City Council, Stephanie served as an Ohio State Representative, Educator, Consultant and Engineer. Her range of lived experiences keeps her grounded in the realities of everyday people and motivates her to use her public platform to share uncomfortable truths and engage in uncomfortable conversations to move our community forward for the benefit of all and not just a select few.


Stephanie earned her B.S. in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Florida A&M University and her M.A. in Environmental Studies from Cleveland State University.


8:00 AM     Doors Open to public
9:00 AM     Students begin lining up for processional
9:30 AM     Doors Close for Start of Processional 
9:45 AM     Processional Begins
10:0 AM     
Graduation Ceremony Begins


  • Commencement will begin promptly at 10:00am on Saturday, May 6, 2023, in the Alumni Multiplex.
  • Doors will open at 8:00am for all guests.
  • You may not hold seats for other guests that have not arrived.
  • Children who can sit in their parents lap do not require a ticket.
  • No balloons or large displays that obstruct the view of other guests are permitted inside.
  • Commencement line up for graduates will begin at 9:00 am in the Health and Wellness Aerobics Room
  • Prior to the commencement ceremony, all graduates will be directed by Faculty marshals and will be arranged by last name. At this time, students will receive the cards that contain their names. The Faculty marshals will be responsible for directing and leading all conferred graduates to and from their seats for the Processional and the Recessional.
  • Graduates will not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony after the service has begun.
  • Master Hoods: those who are receiving their master’s degree will be hooded on stage by the provost as their names are called.
  • Commencement is a filmed event and will be live streamed on our social media platforms.
    It will be available via a URL link and on our social media pages (see links below)
  • Commencement exercises will be professionally photographed and videotaped. Family members and guests will not be allowed to access the staging areas during the program. Graduates and family members will be able to order photos online. Information on photos and their availability will be forthcoming.
  • Diplomas and one (1) free official transcript are sent through U.S. postal mail to awarded students approximately 2 months after commencement once your degree is certified and posted to your student record.  If you have not received your diploma by July 31, 2023, feel free to contact the Office of the Registrar at
  • If you have a hold on your record because you owe money to the University, you will not be able to receive a diploma or a transcript until the hold is resolved and released. Contact Ms. Debra Oliver in the Office of the Bursar at (844) 849-2404 to ensure there is no delay in receiving your diploma and transcript.
  • Seating is limited. Gymnasium seating will be offered to ticket-holders FIRST.
  • Families of graduates are strongly advised to arrive early and to secure their seats in the designated areas. The reservation of extra seats by guests is strictly prohibited.
  • Those who are not holding a ticket will be directed to an overflow location. Guests will be directed to the overflow locations by security and are expected to follow their directions.
  • Seating will be reserved for individuals with disabilities that require wheelchair access or have difficulty walking short distances.
  • Parking spaces in front of the Alumni Multiplex will be reserved for those who need wheelchair access. All other parking will be available on a first come, first served basis. Families of graduates are strongly advised, if possible, to carpool.
  • The Wilberforce University Campus Police Department will direct parking.
  • We make every effort to anticipate the needs of the many guests who will gather at Wilberforce University for Commencement. We do have accessible seating available for guests who need it. We ask that you arrive early to Baccalaureate Service and by 8:30 am for the Commencement Ceremony, so that we can help you from where you’ll park to where you’ll be seated.  The Alumni Multiplex opens for seating at 8 am.
  • Wheelchair transportation to accessible seating will be available. However, guests who cannot transfer to a seat and need to remain in a wheelchair will need to bring their own. Wheelchairs are generally available for short-term rental from medical supply stores and some pharmacies.
  • A Sign Language Interpreter, using American Sign Language (ASL), will be available during the commencement ceremonies. If you are unable to see the interpreter from your seat, please find a volunteer usher or security staff to assist you in finding a new seat. No prior arrangements are necessary.
  • In accordance with federal and state laws, individually trained Service Dogs are permitted to accompany a partner with a disability in all university facilities where Commencement, ceremonies, or activities are taking place.  Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are not permitted in university facilities where Commencement ceremonies or activities are taking place.

If you have accessibility questions, please contact the Center for Academic Support & Student Success (CASSS) at (937) 708-5737.


During the week of May 1, 2023, hotel availability is very limited in the Dayton/Fairborn/Xenia/Springfield area.
Please find a partial listing of hotels that are located near the campus:

Hampton Inn and Suites
194 S. Progress Drive
Xenia, Ohio, 45385

Holiday Inn Fairborn
2800 Presidential Drive
Fairborn, Ohio 45324

Wingate by Wyndham
3055 Presidential Dr
Fairborn, Ohio 45324

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