Graduates participating in the processional should report to Bowman Gray Stadium no later than 7:30 a.m.. Signage outside the stadium gates will direct you to the staging area. 

Academic Regalia

Only traditional academic regalia, consisting of a cap, gown, and hood (for graduate students only) can be worn at Commencement. There is no mandatory dress code.  Traditionally, dress shirts, slacks, skirts, or dresses are worn under the regalia.  Also note that since graduates and faculty will be seated on the grass field, please do not wear high-heel shoes – flats or ½ inch heels are acceptable.

Academic regalia as well as announcements and class rings must be ordered online at You may have your orders shipped to the bookstore on campus or to your home. There is a $15.00 shipping charge for orders sent to your home.

Academic Regalia (cap and gown) as well as announcements and class rings may be ordered on line at Shipping normally takes six weeks. An express delivery charge allows delivery within 10 days. You may have your orders shipped to the bookstore on campus or to your home. Robes sent to the bookstore will be available approximately two weeks prior to commencement. There is a $15.00 shipping charge for orders sent to your home. 

Graduating with Honors

Honor cord pick up will be on Tuesday, May 12, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Wednesday, May 13, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the Main Dining Room at the Anderson Center.

Graduates who have a 3.00 cumulative grade point average will receive "honors" at commencement. Honors for graduation will be determined by the cumulative grade point average earned at Winston-Salem State University. Bachelor degree students who have earned 60 or more hours at Winston-Salem State University must meet the following GPA standards to earn the corresponding academic distinction:

  • Summa Cum Laude (with highest distinction - 3.80 to 4.00) = Crimson and White Cord
  • Magna Cum Laude (with high distinction - 3.50 to 3.79) = Crimson Cord
  • Cum Laude (with distinction - 3.00 to 3.49) = White Cord

Effective May 12, 2001, candidates for graduation eligible for honors who have completed at least 30 semester hours and less than 60 semester hours of graded course work offered by Winston-Salem State University (traditional and non-traditional delivery) will be designated on the commencement program as follows:

Distinction - Students having attained a grade point average of 3.00-4.00. = Gold Cord

The honors designations in the commencement program for spring undergraduates are based on the cumulative GPA earned by Fall semester 2014. Since spring semester grades will not be reported at the time the program is printed, some modifications in the tentative honors shown will have to be made following the recording of the spring semester 2015 grades. To be eligible for Latin honors a student must complete at least sixty (60) semester hours of graded course work offered by Winston-Salem State University. To be eligible for distinction students must have completed at least 30 semester hours and less than 60 semester hours of graded course work offered by Winston-Salem State University.

Military Honor Cords

In recognition of your military service to the United States of America, Winston-Salem State University would like to honor your graduation by authorizing you to wear red, white, and blue honor cords to your commencement ceremony.

Eligibility: If you are graduating and are an honorably discharged U.S. veteran, are currently serving in the U.S. military (active duty, National Guard, or Reserves), or are an ROTC student commissioning upon graduation, you are authorized to wear a Military Honor Cord. Military-affiliated faculty and staff are welcome to receive honor cords as well.

Distribution: The Military Honor cords are available for pick up in in Thompson Center 207C from 1:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 and Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Please bring your WSSU ID card and either a copy of your DD-214 or valid military identification card.

Disability Access

Accessible seating for persons with impaired mobility will be available in the stadium in the two street level patios and the top two rows of the stadium general admission seating throughout the stadium. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Handicapped parking will be in the Bowman Gray South Lot.  Signs will be posted for your convenience.

Commencement Rehearsal

Commencement Rehearsal will be held on Thursday, May 15, and attendance is mandatory for all graduates participating in the ceremony, which will be held at Bowman Gray Stadium. Please check this website for exact rehearsal times.  Parking for rehearsal will be available in the South and East Lots.  Contact Dr. Shirley Manigault at or Dr. Dennis Felder at if you have any questions. If it rains rehearsal will be held in Gaines Gymnasium.

Commencement Day

Commencement exercises are held annually for graduates who completed their degree requirements in August, December, and May of the 2014-2015 academic year. Graduation exercises will be held May 15, 2015, 9:45 a.m. at the Bowman Gray Stadium on the Winston-Salem State University campus.

Graduates in the academic procession will line up at the Athletic Fieldhouse behind Bowman Gray Stadium at 9:15 a.m.. Please be reminded that attendance at the ceremony is expected to be high since an expected 1,000 candidates will receive degrees. Parking will be at a premium so you should plan to arrive early. You will be directed to park in designated parking lots and ride the university shuttles to the field house. Please allow our visitors to park closest to the stadium. No parking will be allowed at the field house, unless you have a state-issued handicapped parking decal. Also, be aware the procession will begin promptly at 9:45 a.m.; no one will be seated once the faculty is on the field.

Commencement Photographer

Gradimages will be taking photographs of all graduates at the commencement ceremony. They will be located on the field as you exit the stage. You can register your information prior to the ceremony at their website, or you may order photographs after the ceremony online or by calling (800) 261-2576. By registering early, photo samples will be provided to you as soon as they are available after the event and you can get a $5 off coupon on orders of $25 or more.

After Commencement

All Residence Halls will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15.  Graduates keep their WSSU email accounts, along with their OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), for life. Graduates are encouraged to visit RAMware - The Academic Software Store to download their free software if they have not done so already.

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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