Activities and Events
Commencement

Commencement


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Congratulations to our graduates!


Read below for important information you’ll need to know regarding commencement for all graduates of Westminster, including students in the London program.

Important Events of Graduation Week

Graduation Rehearsal Happens on Campus:  WTS RUST AUDITORIUM

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – 2:30-3:30 p.m.
(All graduates are expected to be present at rehearsal.)

Graduation Banquet: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – 6:30 p.m.

Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center
1401 Morris Rd.
Blue Bell, PA 19422
215-616-8500

Commencement Ceremony: Thursday, May 29, 2014 – 2:00 p.m. at Calvary Church of Souderton
All grads must arrive by 12:30 p.m.

Directions from Westminster to Calvary Church of Souderton

Rehearsal & Commencement: 820 Route 113, Souderton, PA  18964

 

Approximate 45-minute drive time from Westminster to church with traffic

Graduation Dates & Deadlines

GRADUATION APPLICATION: Your Graduation Application must have first been submitted to the Registrar’s Office (deadline was June 2014), in order to be eligible to proceed, with the following:

March 14    Regalia information due: Regalia Order Form
March 14 - Complete ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire by clicking link below (Note completion code on
            Regalia Order Form.)
March 14 - Commencement fee due (Please put Student ID# on check. To pay fee through Self-Service, contact the
                Finance Office.)

Mar. 14 - Last day to submit a request to graduate in absentia
Mar. 21 - Last day to notify Rebecca Cordner that you will not be graduating (if applicable) and have the commencement fee held
April 29  - Last day for loan recipients to complete exit counseling
May 1 - Banquet reservation due: Banquet Reservation Form
May 6 - Last day for block reservations at the Best Western Hotel
May 28 - Graduation Rehearsal, 2:30-3:30 p.m. – WTS Rust Auditorium
May 28 - Graduation Banquet, 6:30 p.m. – Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center
May 29 - Commencement Seminar, 10:00am - Calvary Church of Souderton
May 29 - Graduation, 2:00 p.m. – Calvary Church of Souderton

Read below or click for information about: Attendance, Diploma & Regalia, Fees, ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire, Lodging, Announcements & Tickets, Loan Recipients, Rehearsal, Banquet, Ceremony.

Attendance

Westminster has a strong heritage of learning in community. Our commencement ceremony is a significant time in which this community comes together to send our graduates into the world to do the Lord’s work. Because of this, we wish for all graduates to be present at the ceremony. However, if you are not able to attend, you must request to receive your degree in absentia, which is granted only by permission of the Faculty.

If you will not be able to attend graduation, please send an email or letter to Rebecca Cordner (rcordner@wts.edu), Administrator for Academic Affairs, with the following:

  1. Reason for wishing to graduate in absentia
  2. Address to which your diploma and regalia should be sent following commencement

When an absentia request has been approved, letters will be sent out to those students from the Administrator for Academic Affairs.

Diploma & Regalia

Please note that your name will be printed on your diploma exactly as it appears in our official records. Please contact the Registrar's Office at registrar@wts.edu if your student record is incorrect. Please complete the Regalia Order Form and return it to Justin Rainey in Machen (outside the Academic Dean's Office) no later than Friday, March 14.

You will be able to keep your regalia. It is made of a lightweight material and can be used several times. Certificate graduates will wear a gown and hat but not a hood.

Purchasing Regalia: If you are a doctoral graduate, and you wish to purchase regalia instead of using the retainable regalia included in your commencement fee, you must contact Rebecca Cordner in the Academic Affairs Office. This regalia is made of more substantial material and costs approximately $650 depending on the material selected. If you purchase regalia, you must pay for it even if you do not graduate. These orders cannot be canceled.

When your regalia arrives, students will be emailed and notices will be posted in the Van Til Student Mailroom and other locations around campus. You should plan to pick up your regalia prior to commencement in order to check the size and make sure it fits properly.

If you no longer live near campus and will be traveling to commencement, your regalia will be brought to the church on the day of rehearsal.

If you are graduating in absentia, your regalia will be mailed to you.

Commencement Fee

The fee for degree recipients is $150; the fee for certificate recipients is $130. Checks should be made out to Westminster Theological Seminary and submitted no later than Friday, March 14 with the Regalia Order Form. The commencement fee can also be paid through Self-Service.

NOTE:

  • The fee is due whether or not you attend commencement.
  • The fee includes a charge for regalia, which you may keep.
  • No portion of this fee is refundable for those who do not attend the commencement service or for those who purchase their own regalia.
  • See “Holding Commencement Fee” below.
  • Diplomas/certificates are ordered only once a year. Late payment could mean you would not receive your diploma/certificate until a year after your graduation.

Holding Commencement Fee
If you determine that you will not be graduating this year, the final date to let the Academic Affairs Office know that you wish the Seminary to hold your commencement fee is March 15. If you do not notify Academic Affairs by this date and do not graduate, you will forfeit the fee.

ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire

This survey is requested of all graduates and developed by the Association of Theological Schools, the national accrediting agency for theological schools. To fill out the survey, please click here and sign in with your first and last name. Follow the instructions in the Student  Manual. M.A.R., M.A.C., and M.A.U.M. graduates: Please refer to the Student Manual for information on the proper degree category in the survey. When the survey is complete, please write your completion code on the Regalia Order Form  before submitting this form to Academic Affairs by Friday, March 14.

Hotel

A block of rooms is reserved at the Best Western Hotel in Ft. Washington for May 28-29 at a special rate of $79.99 plus tax. You must reserve rooms by May 6 to guarantee this rate and availability.  Please ask for the Westminster Block.

For hotel reservations, please have your guests call (215) 542-7930 and, for the special rate, inform them that you are with Westminster. The hotel’s location is convenient to the Seminary, the church, and the banquet facility.

The Graduation Banquet site Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center also has hotel rooms.  Please call 215-616-8500 for more information.

Announcements

Each graduate will initially be given ten announcements. Let the Commencement Coordinator (Rebecca Cordner) know if you need additional announcements.

We will not be using tickets at graduation, as the facility is quite large. A large cry room (restless child room!) will be available and equipped with a CCTV.  Additional nursery services will not be provided, but designated areas of church will have a TV in order to view the ceremony.

Loan Recipients

Per federal regulations, any student who has received government loans through the Federal Direct and/or FFEL Program must complete exit counseling before graduating. Therefore, all graduating students receiving government loans through Westminster (subsidized, unsubsidized or GradPLUS) must go to the website http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ to complete exit counseling by Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The Seminary will hold the diploma of any graduating student who has not completed exit counseling by this deadline.

Rehearsal* – Wednesday, May 28, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.   WTS RUST AUDITORIUM

*All graduates are expected to be at this rehearsal. Rehearsal is held the day before Commencement in order to accommodate graduates who live at a distance from the Seminary and will be arriving on Wednesday. Dr. Jue, Provost, will meet with the graduates for commencement rehearsal. Please assemble in WTS Rust Auditorium. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Graduation Banquet – Wednesday, May 28, 6:30 p.m. at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center

A banquet in honor of the graduates will be held at the beautiful Normandy Farm. You (the graduate) and your spouse (if applicable) are guests of the Seminary. Cost for additional guests is $38.00 per person.

Banquet Reservation: Turn in Banquet Reservation Form to Lynette English in the Student Development Office by May 1. Any reservation forms received after this date will not be guaranteed. Please remember that all Seminary full-time faculty and staff are invited to the banquet and you do not need to include them on your form.

Seating at the banquet is open. Attire for the evening is semi-formal. Childcare is not provided.

Graduation – Thursday, May 29 at Calvary Church of Souderton

Graduates are to assemble promptly at 12:30 p.m. at the church. Graduate portraits will be taken at that time. Please do not be late. From campus, allow 45 minutes for travel. You will receive further information regarding graduation at the rehearsal.

We will not be using tickets at graduation, as the facility is quite large.  A large cry room (restless child room!) will be availble and is equipped with a CCTV.

Directions to Graduation from WTS

  • Turn Right at the lower entrance of the Seminary onto Willow Grove Ave. 
  • At the stoplight, turn Left onto Church Rd. (Rt. 73).
  • Turn Right onto Rt. 309 North.
  • From Rt. 309 North take the Souderton exit (Rt. 113).
  • Turn Right off the exit ramp and stay on Rt. 113 for 0.8 miles.
  • The church is on the left. There is a parking lot on each side of the church.

From Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • Exit at the Fort Washington Interchange (Exit #339).
  • Take Rt. 309 North.
  • See directions from the Seminary above.

Questions? Contact:
The Commencement Team: Rebecca Cordner, Nate Shannon, Justin Rainey
mailto: commencement@wts.edu