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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.

2020 commencement guidelines

as we approach the much-anticipated 2020 commencement ceremony at 12 pm on saturday, october 10 in the penn activity center (pac), please familiarize yourselves with the guidelines below. review the full letter here.

important information
  • each graduate will be required to register in advance in order to participate. some of you have already registered by replying to the questionnaire sent to you on 8/31/20. if you did not reply, but plan to attend, please click on the link below to register. graduation survey 10/10/2020 (deadline to register 9/30/2020)
  • each registered graduate will be allowed four (4) guests, to mitigate risk and exposure and allow for social distancing.
  • each guest will be required to reserve a ticket to gain access to the pac (a link will be sent to each graduate that has registered). the deadline for reserving tickets is saturday, 10/03/2020.
  • everyone involved in commencement, including graduates and guests, will be screened before entering the building. please be advised to arrive early to allow plenty of time to work through the screening process. anyone who does not pass the screening will not be allowed to enter.
  • masks will be required at all times while inside, and outside where social distancing is not observed.
  • start time has changed to 12:00, noon.
  • Cap & Gown: Your cap & gown will be at the william penn bookstore, in the dana m. atkins memorial union, to pick up in advance. please contact the bookstore by calling (641) 673-1031 or by emailing deborah christy,, to make arrangements for advance pick up. The day of commencement, you will be able to get your cap & gown in the gymnasium after you register.
  • campus bookstore hours: monday – thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. saturday, october 10 – 8:30 a.m. – until one hour after graduation. click here to learn more about the william penn bookstore. 
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 at dws photography – view your commencement photos here (for best results, use chrome).the link will also be available on the commencement page on the wpu website for others who wish to purchase photos.
  • live stream: if you choose not to participate in commencement, the ceremony will also be live streamed at // each graduate’s name will be announced in order that those who were not able to participate can be recognized.
  • 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 october 1, 2020. if you have any questions, contact the business services office at 641-673-1142.
commencement day
  • 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.
  • screening – everyone involved in graduation – graduates, guests and employees – will be screened. that screening will involve three or more questions and a temperature check. anyone who does not pass the screening will not be allowed to enter the penn activity center (pac). please arrive early to allow plenty of time to work with us through this screening process.
  • graduates assemble for the procession – 10:30 a.m. – All graduates- Traditional, Nursing, Distance Learning and Online & Evening (OLE) will assemble in the Main Gym. Registration tables, with name cards and honor cords, will be set up. Please line up in front of the table marked alphabetically, based on your last name. Traditional, nursing and distance learning graduates will then be lined-up alphabetically within Academic Divisions. The tassel is worn on the right. Only academic honor cords may be worn during the ceremony. No one but the graduate will be allowed access to the Gym. Family members traveling with students may wait in the PAC for the ceremony to start.
  • commencement begins at 12:00 noon. please inform your guests to arrive early to allow extra time to screen all arriving guests. doors will open at 8:30 a.m.
  • 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.

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