Degrees to be given to nearly 1,200 WKU graduates this weekend

Joanna Williams

A total of 1,196 students will see their academic careers at WKU come to an official end this weekend.

The 170th Commencement graduate ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, while the undergraduate ceremony will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. Both ceremonies will be in Diddle Arena.

University Registrar Frida Eggleton said they expect a “couple of thousand” audience members for the graduate commencement and a capacity audience for the undergraduate ceremony.

“It is very comparable to last year,” Eggleton said. “Once again, there will be the commissioning of four ROTC cadets to second lieutenant and a short video will be shown.”

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be broadcast live by the WKYU-PBS and online at

Celebrations at WKU’s regional campuses have already begun.

Last Thursday, WKU-Glasgow had their inaugural “Graduand” recognition ceremony where they recognized the students who will be graduating from the WKU-Glasgow campus.

David Givens, a state senator, was on hand to speak along with Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, who recognized the graduates.

“It does not replace commencement, rather it’s a recognition for the students that graduate in December,” said WKU-Glasgow director Sally Ray.

Ray said she thought it was important to have a graduation event at Glasgow since the students completed their degrees there.

“We’re talking about a different student population,” she said. “The majority of them have their experiences on the Glasgow campus. It just makes sense for us to have our own celebration.”

President Gary Ransdell will address the undergraduate ceremony. Michael Ann Williams, head of the department of folk studies and anthropology, will deliver a speech at the graduate ceremony.

Williams said this is her first time speaking at a commencement ceremony, although she feels as if she will be able to relate to the students and the position they are in.

“I think people with graduate degrees are in a different space in their lives, but I work primarily with grad students so I feel a bit more intimately connected since that is primarily who I teach,” she said.

Eggleton said that ultimately commencement is about the memories the students will attain and WKU plays a major role.

“We hope that commencement weekend provides a memorable experience for their families and friends,” she said.