Northwestern will host Graduation Weekend ceremonies (May 6–8) in person and indoors! To allow for physical distancing, seating for Baccalaureate and Commencement will be limited, and a ticket will be required for admission. Other ceremonies and events with smaller participant groups (the Nursing Pinning Ceremony, the Senior Honors Ceremony, and the Graduate Student Reception) will be scheduled in venues where physical distancing is possible and will not require tickets. Face coverings will be required for all events, and other appropriate health and safety measures may be implemented as indicated.

We are eager to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and their families and supporters. For further details about specific ceremonies, travel and logistics, and a graduation application, please see the links below.

News release

TICKETS FOR BACCALAUREATE AND COMMENCEMENT

  • All students approved for graduation who indicated they will attend and participate in Commencement were sent an email with a link to RSVP for up to 4 guests. The link expired April 9. Questions regarding tickets should be directed to Nancy Van Surksum.
  • The event will be live-streamed, so anyone who cannot attend in person will still be able to participate.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

THURSDAY, MAY 6
NURSING PINNING CEREMONY

6:30 p.m., Christ Chapel
For all students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree—whether through the college’s on-campus program or online RN-to-BSN program—along with their families
Watch livestream


FRIDAY, MAY 7
SENIOR HONORS CEREMONY
3 p.m., Christ Chapel
For graduating seniors chosen for departmental honors and for those who successfully completed the Northwestern Honors Program—along with their families
Watch livestream

BACCALAUREATE
7:30 p.m., Rowenhorst Student Center
For all on-campus bachelor’s degree recipients and a limited number of their family members (4 tickets per graduate)
Watch livestream


SATURDAY, MAY 8
COMMENCEMENT
10 a.m., Rowenhorst Student Center
For all graduates and a limited number of their family members (4 tickets per graduate)
Watch livestream

GRADUATE SCHOOL & ADULT LEARNING RECEPTION
Following commencement, Ramaker Center Fireside Lounge
For the family members and graduates of Northwestern’s Master of Education and online bachelor’s degree programs (BA in Early Childhood and RN-to-BSN)

Bachelor's Degree Graduates

SATURDAY, MAY 8
10 a.m., Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC)
Doors open at 9:15 a.m. Tickets required for entry. Masks required.
For all graduates and their family and friends with tickets. Watch livestream

Commencement is a celebration of the academic accomplishments of Northwestern’s graduates. The traditional ceremony of pomp and circumstance features faculty in full regalia, inspirational words from this year’s commencement speaker, and the presentation of top undergraduate student and faculty awards—culminating in the hooding of Northwestern’s Master of Education students and the conferring of degrees upon all graduates.

Tickets: All graduates who indicated their intent to participate in Commencement received an email in late March inviting them to reserve up to 4 tickets for their loved ones. Tickets will be distributed to graduates when they pick up their cap and gown on April 22.

Attendees should be aware that although the capacity of the RSC has been limited, it will not be possible to observe 6 feet of physical distance consistently in this space.

FRIDAY, MAY 7 
7:30 p.m., Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC)
Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets required for entry. Masks required.
For all on-campus bachelor's degree recipients and their family members with tickets. Watch livestream

Northwestern’s graduating seniors and their families are invited to baccalaureate, a worship celebration during which the students say their final goodbye to their college worship home. The service includes stories, images, a commissioning message and songs—and concludes with a special blessing and moving candle-lighting ceremony.

Tickets: All graduates who indicated an intent to participate in Baccalaureate received an email in late March inviting them to reserve up to 4 tickets for their loved ones. Tickets will be distributed to graduates when they pick up their cap and gown on April 22.

Attendees should be aware that, although the capacity of the RSC has been limited, it will not be possible to observe 6 feet of physical distance consistently in the space as configured

FRIDAY, MAY 7 
3 p.m., Christ Chapel
Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Masks required.

For graduating seniors chosen for departmental honors and for those who have successfully completed the Northwestern Honors Program. (Family members of these seniors are invited as well.) Watch livestream

Northwestern’s Senior Honors Ceremony is designed to celebrate students who have been selected for departmental honors and/or who have successfully completed the Northwestern Honors Program. Students who will be honored at this ceremony will be notified in April. Because of the size of the venue, tickets are not required.

THURSDAY, MAY 6
6:30 p.m., Christ Chapel
Doors open at 6 p.m. Masks required.
For all students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree—whether through the college’s on-campus program or online RN-to-BSN program—along with their families. Watch livestream

Northwestern’s nursing graduates and their families are invited to a traditional rite of passage that serves as a symbolic welcoming of the students into the nursing profession. Each student nurse is presented with a Northwestern College nursing pin, after which the graduates recite the college’s “Christian Commitment to Nursing” pledge. A reception for the graduates and all guests follows the ceremony. Because of the size of the venue, tickets are NOT required.

Graduate names for the 2021 commencement program (updated as of April 28, 2021)

The above document includes the names of all students who have applied and been approved to graduate on May 8, 2021. If you are one of those students, please check this PDF to ensure the following:

  • Your name is included in the list of graduates
  • Your name is spelled correctly
  • Your hometown is accurate
  • If you have a second or third major from a department other than the one you are listed in, that your additional major is included after your hometown

If you are not on the list and think you should be—or your plans to graduate this spring have changed—please immediately email Nancy Van Surksum in the registrar’s office. Please also email Nancy if there is an error in your information.

Graduation Weekend guests attending events in Christ Chapel may park in the lots north of the DeWitt Learning Commons, Christ Chapel, and the DeWitt Music Hall (buildings No. 8, 9 and 10 on the campus map)—as well as in parking spots along Albany Avenue. Handicapped parking is available near the circle drive between Christ Chapel and the DeWitt Learning Commons and in the lot north of the DeWitt Music Hall.

Parking for Baccalaureate and Commencement, which take place in the Rowenhorst Student Center, is available in the lots on the south side of Highway 10, across the street from Zwemer Hall (building No. 12 on the campus map) and east of the Bultman Center (building No. 28). The lot in front of the Rowenhorst Student Center (building No. 30) will be used exclusively for those needing handicapped parking, and there will be handicapped parking spots directly in front of the Bultman Center's main entrance.

There is also a gravel parking lot east of the Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse (building No. 31 on the campus map). Guests using that lot should use the main/north entrance of the Juffer Fieldhouse, which is connected to the Rowenhorst Student Center.

PDF of campus map

Northwestern will livestream the Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Senior Honors Ceremony, Baccalaureate and Commencement. Use the following link to watch any of these Commencement Weekend events live. Recordings of each event will also be available at the following link for up to six months:

https://vimeo.com/event/797844

Northwestern utilizes Lifetouch Photography to take photos during commencement and of graduates as they receive their degrees. Their photos are available for purchase following commencement. Lifetouch Photography will email graduates with more information when they are available.

Applications to graduate in May 2021 were due last December. If you think you are eligible to graduate after Spring Term or Summer Term of 2021 and you have not already submitted your graduation application, please do so immediately.

Online and Master's Degree Graduates

SATURDAY, MAY 8
10 a.m., Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC)
Doors open at 9:15 a.m. Tickets required for entry. Masks required.
For all graduates and their family and friends with tickets. Watch livestream

Commencement is a celebration of the academic accomplishments of Northwestern’s graduates. The traditional ceremony of pomp and circumstance features faculty in full regalia, inspirational words from this year’s commencement speaker, and the presentation of top undergraduate student and faculty awards—culminating in the hooding of Northwestern’s Master of Education students and the conferring of degrees upon all graduates.

Tickets: All graduates who indicated their intent to participate in Commencement received an email in late March inviting them to reserve up to 4 tickets for their loved ones. Tickets will be sent by surface mail to each graduate.

Attendees should be aware that although the capacity of the RSC has been limited, it will not be possible to observe 6 feet of physical distance consistently in this space.

SATURDAY, MAY 8
8:30 a.m., Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC), Room 154. Masks required.
For all online program graduates: master's degrees and bachelor's degrees (B.A. in early childhood and RN-to-BSN)

The Graduate School & Adult Learning hosts this event for all online program students—master's degree and bachelor's degree—to formally present them with their academic regalia (caps & gowns/hoods) and to provide them with an opportunity to meet each other and their enrollment counselors face-to-face.

SATURDAY, MAY 8
Following Commencement, Ramaker Center Fireside Lounge. Masks required.
For the family members and graduates of Northwestern’s Master of Education and online bachelor’s degree programs (BA in Early Childhood and RN-to-BSN).

Faculty and staff of Northwestern’s Graduate School & Adult Learning are the hosts for this after-commencement reception. All Master of Education and online bachelor’s degree graduates are welcome to mix and mingle with family and friends while enjoying free refreshments. Because of the size of the venue, tickets are not required.

Graduate names for the 2021 commencement program (updated as of April 28, 2021)

The above document includes the names of all students who have applied and been approved to graduate on May 8, 2021. If you are one of those students, please check this PDF to ensure the following:

  • Your name is included in the list of graduates
  • Your name is spelled correctly
  • Your hometown is accurate

If you are not on the list and think you should be—or your plans to graduate this spring have changed—please immediately email Nancy Van Surksum in the registrar’s office. Please also email Nancy if there is an error in your information.

Graduation Weekend guests attending events in Christ Chapel may park in the lots north of the DeWitt Learning Commons, Christ Chapel, and the DeWitt Music Hall (buildings No. 8, 9 and 10 on the campus map)—as well as in parking spots along Albany Avenue. Handicapped parking is available near the circle drive between Christ Chapel and the DeWitt Learning Commons and in the lot north of the DeWitt Music Hall.

Parking for Baccalaureate and Commencement, which take place in the Rowenhorst Student Center, is available in the lots on the south side of Highway 10, across the street from Zwemer Hall (building No. 12 on the campus map) and east of the Bultman Center (building No. 28). The lot in front of the Rowenhorst Student Center (building No. 30) will be used exclusively for those needing handicapped parking, and there will be handicapped parking spots directly in front of the Bultman Center's main entrance.

There is also a gravel parking lot east of the Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse (building No. 31 on the campus map). Guests using that lot should use the main/north entrance of the Juffer Fieldhouse, which is connected to the Rowenhorst Student Center.

PDF of campus map

Northwestern will livestream the Nursing Pinning Ceremony and Commencement. Use the following link to watch either of these Commencement Weekend events live. Recordings of each event will also be available at the following link for up to six months:

https://vimeo.com/event/797844

Northwestern utilizes Lifetouch Photography to take photos during commencement and of graduates as they receive their degrees. Their photos are available for purchase following commencement. Lifetouch Photography will email graduates with more information when they are available.

Applications to graduate in May 2021 were due last December. If you think you are eligible to graduate after Spring Term or Summer Term of 2021 and you have not already submitted your graduation application, please do so immediately.

 

COMMENCEMENT FAQs

How and when do I get my tickets?

  • Traditional undergraduate students and NEXT students. Tickets will be distributed with your cap and gown on Thursday, April 22. Watch your email for details.
  • Master’s degree and online bachelor’s degree students (RN-BSN and BAEC). Your tickets will be mailed to you via snail mail prior to Commencement.

Does my younger child need a ticket if they are going to sit on a lap?
Tickets are required for anyone 2 years or older (1 ticket = 1 seat).

Does my family member in a wheelchair need a ticket?
Guests in wheelchairs will need a ticket; however, they can be seated in the same area/row as family members. 

When do the doors open for guests for the ceremonies?

  • Baccalaureate | RSC doors will open for guests at 6:45 p.m.
  • Commencement | RSC doors will open for guests at 9:15 a.m.

What if my guest forgets their ticket in their car?
No one will be admitted into the RSC 4-court area without a ticket. Guests are welcome to watch the ceremony via livestream on their own device.

Can I reserve seats for my family?
No, there will not be any reserved seating.

Are masks required even if I’ve been vaccinated?
Yes, masks are required in any indoor campus building.

Other questions?
Contact Nancy Van Surksum ( nancy.vansurksum@nwciowa.edu)

loading
LOADING …