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Commencement 2020

Congratulations 2020 Graduates!

You did it. You’ve worked hard, met your goals, and have made everlasting memories. This day is for you. This isn’t the conclusion of your experience at William Penn, it’s the beginning of a lifelong connection you will have as a Statesmen forever.

  • Diplomas will be mailed to the address recorded on the “Intent to Graduate” form. Please inform the Registrar’s office immediately of any changes.
  • Cap & Gown: If you attend classes in Oskaloosa, you may pick up regalia at the campus bookstore after April 13. Bookstore hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Fridays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. For students at the Johnston campus and Online students, regalia will be available for pick-up at the Johnston location after April 16. Please contact Holly Wengert 641.673.1323, or Will Utter 641.673.1305, to arrange a time for pick-up. Online students can also pick up their regalia on the day of graduation, please notify Holly or Will in advance. If you are an online student who is not walking, regalia will not be sent unless specifically requested and arranged ahead of time with your advisor. If you are unable to pick up your regalia or have any questions about regalia, announcements or rings, contact Deborah Christy, bookstore Manager, at 641.673.1031. After the Commencement ceremony the regalia is yours to keep.
  • Campus Bookstore Hours: May 9 – 8:30 am – until one hour after graduation;
  • Honor Cords will be distributed in the gymnasium the morning of graduation. Only students who have completed all degree requirements are eligible to wear honor cords. Since final grades will not be recorded by Commencement, honors will be based on the cum GPA at this semester’s midterm. If final grades change the honor level, the updated level will be recorded on the official transcript. These levels and the corresponding GPA’s can be found in the University Catalog. Cords will not be sent to students before or after the ceremony, as they are considered ceremonial honors for those students who are walking. Students not walking will still have the honor designated on the official transcript.
  • Graduation Announcements: You may order personalized graduation announcements by calling 1-800-353-5299 or Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
  • Photographs: You may purchase professional photographs by DWS Photography taken at the moment you receive your diploma and/or hooding. Photos will be available to view a short time after graduation. Watch for the Commencement page on the WPU website for the link to view your photos. The ceremony will also be filmed and can be viewed live at
  • Verification of Graduation Requirements: Diplomas will not be issued at graduation, but will be mailed out after degrees are verified and accounts are cleared with the Business Office and Financial Aid. Final verification of graduation requirements for May candidates will be conducted when grade reports are complete. For summer graduates, final verification will occur in August and September with diplomas mailed after that time. If any unexpected problems arise, we will make every attempt to contact you. Please do not call the Registrar’s office for grades or graduation status. You may check your grades through your Student Portal.
  • Your Account: All account balances must be paid in full before diplomas will be issued. You must complete all exit paperwork for the William Penn Loan, William Penn Forgivable Loan, and Perkins Loan by May 8, 2020. If you have any questions, contact the Business Services Office at 641-673-1142.
  • Ceremony begins at 10 am in the Penn Activity Center. Doors open at 8:30 am. 
  • Parking – Please take North Market (Highway 63) to R Avenue West (north of Atkins Memorial Union), and drive west on R Avenue West to parking on the West side of the PAC.
  • Graduates assemble for the procession – 9:00 am – All graduates-Traditional, Nursing, Distance Learning and Online & Evening (OLE) will assemble in the Lower Gym. Registration tables, with name cards and honor cords, will be set up at the west side of the gym. Please line up in front of the table marked alphabetically, based on your last name. OLE graduates will check in at a separate table, marked OLE. Traditional, Nursing and Distance Learning graduates will then be lined-up alphabetically within Academic Divisions and OLE graduates will line up as instructed. The tassel is worn on the right. Only academic honor cords may be worn during the ceremony. Family members traveling with students may wait in the PAC for the ceremony to start.
  • Commencement begins at 10:00 am
  • The Blue and Gold Ceremony – Immediately following Commencement, graduates will recess to the front lawn of Penn Hall where the Alumni Association will lead the traditional Blue and Gold Ceremony. In case of rain, the Blue and Gold Ceremony will be held on the PAC turf.
  • The PAC will close at 1:00 pm following the ceremony.

Blue and Gold Ceremony

Immediately following Commencement, graduates will recess to the front lawn of Penn Hall where the Alumni Association will lead you in the Blue and Gold Ceremony. This William Penn tradition launches our graduates off into the world, holding on to a piece of history. In case of rain, the Blue and Gold Ceremony will be held on the PAC turf.

Click here to see some great benefits of being a William Penn alum!

August Graduates

Upon completion of all remaining requirements, August graduates will receive their diplomas (qualified candidates) in the mail.  Diplomas are ordered after all final requirements are met.

For more information, please contact Christy Boston in the Academic Dean’s Office at 641-673-1010 or


William Penn University
Penn Activity Center
1802 N E St.
Oskaloosa, IA 52577

Christy Boston

Homepage photo provided by Ken Allsup