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WSSU Commencement 2021: What you need to know

Winston-Salem State University will host five commencement ceremonies over two days, beginning Thursday, May 20, and concluding on Friday, May 21. Notably, an additional ceremony has been added to recognize 2020 graduates. In-person ceremonies will be held on WSSU’s main campus at the Intramural Practice Field.

The commencement schedule is as follows:


Undergraduate and Graduate Students 2020

Class of 2020
Thursday, May 20, 9 a.m.
View Livestream  

Graduate Students
Class of 2021

Thursday, May 20 at 6 p.m.
View Livestream

Undergraduates - College of Arts, Sciences, Business & Education Class of 2021

Friday, May 21, 9 a.m.

View Livestream

Undergraduates – School of Health Sciences

Class of 2021

Friday, May 21, 6 p.m.

View Livestream  

Class of 2021
Friday, May 21, at noon
Visit WSSU Commencement web page  


All of the in-person commencement ceremonies will be held on WSSU’s campus. The outdoor venue is the intramural practice lawn located behind the C.E. Gaines Center and campus childcare center. Students were allotted two guest tickets. Entry will not be permitted without a ticket. No additional tickets are available.

WSSU will employ specific regulations and procedures to promote and ensure a safe and positive experience for all. Please note the information below regarding admission to the venue.

  • Seating access will begin one hour before the ceremony starts. Guests will be allowed to bring one bottled water into the event. Commencement will begin promptly.
  • All guests are subject to security screenings conducted by contracted personnel to detect and remove prohibited items from the venue.
  • Guests with prohibited items will be allowed to return these items to their vehicles.  (See the complete list of prohibited items.)
  • Masks will still be required for guests until they reach their seats. Once seated, masks may be removed. Students will also wear masks into the facility but may remove them once seated. Students will be required to wear a mask as they cross the stage.


All bags brought to the commencement venue must meet the description of a permissible bag.  

Permissible bags are:

  • Bags that are un-tinted and clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand (4.5” x 6.5”)
  • Exceptions to bags may be granted for medically necessary items, working personnel, and media.

All bags, including permissible bags, are subject to search by the university or event staff before entry. Any prohibited item will be immediately confiscated to ensure the safety and security of other guests, graduates, and staff. 

Guest parking will be available at the Bowman Gray Football Field parking lots. University shuttles will run every ten minutes to bring guests to the venue. They will run for one hour after the ceremony to return guests to the lots. Lot “O” at the campus daycare center will be available for handicapped “drop off” only.

Members of the news media interested in attending WSSU’s commencement ceremony should contact Haley Gingles, 336-608-8690 (call or text) to reserve credentials. Limited parking will be available for marked media vehicles or those with media credentials in the K lot. Media passes are required for access to the intramural field. In-person pick-up times are below. Credentials may be picked up from Alumni House. If you cannot meet during the in-person pick-up times, please contact Haley.  

Media Credential Pick-up Times

Thursday, May 20, 8 - 8:45 a.m. or 5 – 5:45 p.m.
Friday, May 21, 8 - 8:45 a.m. or 5 – 5:45 p.m.

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