Commencement

Students in grad attire at 2018's commencement

2020 Commencement

The Commencement ceremony is Saturday May 9, 2020 at 9:45 a.m. in the Maverik Center (3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119). Graduates should arrive at 9:00 a.m. to check in and line up for the procession. There is no rehearsal for Commencement. Graduates will receive additional information via email.

Graduation Fair

Cap and Gown

Come to the Graduation Fair in the Behnken Field House of HWAC on March 18 and 19 between noon and 6:00 p.m. to pick up your cap and gown, make sure you are cleared for graduation, visit with Alumni Office staff, and learn about graduate programs. If you miss the Graduation Fair, you will be charged a late fee of $50 for your cap and gown order.

Graduate Student Hoods

Graduate students can also pick up their hood along with their cap and gown at the Graduation Fair for free. If you want to keep your hood, you can purchase a used hood for $89.95 or a new hood for $119.95. You can speak directly with the Herff Jones Company during the fair to purchase your hood.

If You Can’t Attend the Graduation Fair

If you can't attend the Graduation Fair, you can have someone else pick up your cap and gown by completing a proxy form to grant them permission. The proxy form can be found in the email sent to all graduating seniors. All items, including holds and fines, will need to be cleared before you or someone else can pick up your ceremony items.

Graduation band

Graduating Student Survey

Prior to the Graduation Fair, please complete the graduating student exit survey to tell us about your educational experience at Westminster. It should take no more than 10–15 minutes.

Take the 2018–19 Undergraduate Student Survey

Take the 2018–19 Graduate Student Survey

Pinning and Hooding Ceremonies

MSNA

Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Westminster on the Draw

BS in Nursing

Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
2–3:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Cathedral

2019 Commencement Speakers

Sabi Lowder

Sabi Lowder

Sabi Lowder (pronounced like “Abby” with an “S”) is a Utah native, desert rat, and disciple of the Wasatch Range. She shares Westminster’s love of exploration and interdisciplinary learning. Her life has always pivoted around opposing stories, cultures, and points of view. With a mother from Afghanistan, a father from rural Idaho, and a stepmother from Mexico, she was predisposed to seek common ground in the midst of difference.

Her time at Westminster helped her turn that curiosity into a customized degree in communication and cultural studies. During the summers, she did undergraduate research on sexual violence advocacy and indigenous perspectives and environmental rhetoric. She organized on-campus sexual assault counselor trainings that trained over 40 community members. She served as both student body vice president and president, where she prioritized diversity, student perspectives, community relationships, and campus collaboration.

The intimate campus offered a world for Sabi to engage with—and she took advantage of every second of it. But her favorite moment? Saying "Vagina Monologues" at a board of trustees meeting. Westminster created a home for Sabi to explore, a place for questioning and learning. Her experiences outside of the classroom shaped Sabi as an activist and community member. Inside the classroom, especially in the Honors College, she learned to be an active observer and participant in the world around her. Both led her to following her passion of storytelling.

Following graduation, Sabi plans to find common ground through work in documentary filmmaking and writing. She’ll bring what she learned at Westminster into her storytelling and continue to foster a world built on community, empathy, creativity, and critical thinking.

Engels Tejeda

Engels Tejeda ('03)

Engels Tejeda is currently counsel at Holland & Hart LLP. He represents businesses and individuals in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts in complex commercial litigation. Tejeda served as a public affairs officer in the US Army Reserves from 1999–2007, including two active-duty deployments to Iraq and Kosovo, during which he helped develop and implement a media and public information program for the US Army. During that time, he received several army commendation and achievement medals, the NATO medal, and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Tejeda graduated from Westminster College cum laude in 2003 with a BA in economics. While he was a student at Westminster, Tejada served as student body president from 2002–03 and received the President’s Leadership Award in 2003. Since that time, he has served as an alumni mentor, helping students who are interested in pursuing a career in law. After graduating, he attended the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he graduated with his JD in 2006. He now specializes in financial disputes, privacy, cyber security, and data-breach litigation.

Tejeda has volunteered as a judge pro tempore for the Salt Lake City Justice Court Small Claims Division and has been involved with the Utah Minority Bar Association, Utah Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Hispanic National Bar Association. He is from the Dominican Republic and currently resides in Salt Lake City.

Ceremony Details

Guests

No tickets are required for the ceremony and you may invite as many guests as you wish. Seating is first come, first serve. We strongly suggest that you coordinate with your family and friends before the ceremony as to where you will meet at the conclusion of Commencement.

Parking

Parking at the Maverik Center is free and plentiful, but to ensure a timely arrival, please arrive by 9 a.m. Allow your guests enough time to be seated before 9:40 a.m., as the processional starts at 9:45 a.m.

Walking Disabilities

Graduates for whom walking in the processional may be difficult should contact the Dean of Students Office, 801.832.2230, in advance to discuss alternative arrangements. Families using wheelchairs will need to arrive early, as there is limited seating toward the front (additional wheelchair seating is available in the upper level).

Photography

Island Photo will photograph all graduates as they receive their diplomas. A free proof will be available online within 2–3 days of Commencement. You will receive an email with the link to view your photos. There is no obligation to purchase photos.

Honors

Honors are awarded to undergraduate students who complete 60 hours of coursework with letter grades at Westminster and meet the following criteria:

Honors LevelCriteria
Summa Cum LaudeTop 10% of eligible students
Magna Cum LaudeSecond 10% of eligible students
Cum LaudeThird 10% of eligible students

The grade point averages necessary to meet honors criteria are based on the previous year's graduating class grade point averages (GPA). The GPA required to receive honors for graduation is determined after the entire class has been graduated in August and are published at the beginning of the fall semester.

Based on the above policy, the registrar's office has determined the following GPA cutoffs for graduating with honors:

2019–20 Honors GPAs

  • Summa Cum Laude 3.933
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.846
  • Cum Laude 3.782

Honors noted in the commencement program are based upon the grade point average at the end of the fall semester. Honors designations noted in the program are subject to change based on the calculation of final grade point averages for students attending May and summer terms. Grade point averages are not rounded in order to achieve honors.

Student-receiving-diploma

Transcripts

Be sure any transcripts of pre-approved transfer credit, CLEP scores, etc. reach the registrar's office by mid-April (if finishing by April) or May 10 (if finishing in May).

Diplomas

After graduation processing has been completed, you will be notified when diplomas are available to pick up in the registrar's office free of charge. A photo ID is required and all holds with the school must be cleared in order to release your diploma. You may also choose to have your diploma mailed to you by completing the Diploma Mailing Request Form. To ensure that your diploma arrives safely, all diplomas are mailed via certified mail; there is a $20 fee associated with this service.

Graduation band

Good Standing Accounts

Your cap, gown, and diploma will be released only if your account with the college is in good standing. Be sure all library, accounting, and parking holds are cleared. Also, please remember to complete a loan exit interview before the cap and gown distribution process.

Address Changes

Be sure to keep the registrar informed of any address changes so you can receive up-to-date information. This should include your phone number, email, and physical address.

2019 Graduate Profile

TOTAL GRADUATES
 

graduation cap

763

NUMBER OF DEGREES
 

Bachelors: 520

Masters: 243

DEMOGRAPHICS
 

commencement pie chart, see text for details

59% Female

41% Male

Age Range
20–66

ETHNICITY
 

  • American Indian: 4

  • Asian: 27

  • Black/African American: 16

  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1

  • Hispanic/Latino: 79

  • Multi-Racial: 25

  • White: 547

  • Non-Specified/Other: 64

35 STATES REPRESENTED
(AND ONE TERRITORY)

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

28 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
 

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ethiopia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Vietnam

TOP 10 MAJORS
 

Nursing

100

Business Administration 

33

Finance

31

Marketing

27

Psychology

26

Communication

25

Public Health

25

Neuroscience

24

Accounting

18

Biology

18

Environmental Studies

18