Graduation Schedule

Our 2019 commencement will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, May 11 on Sunderland Lawn. The Honors & Awards Ceremony will be held at 4:00pm on May 10 in the College Chapel.

Please see our Important Dates & Deadlines for further information about the end of the semester, residence hall closing, etc.

Bill Adair

Commencement Speaker: Bill Adair 

Bill Adair is the Pulitzer Prize-Winning founder of PolitiFact, the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University, and Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy.



Admission to Commencement Ceremony

Invitations/tickets are not required for admission to the Saturday ceremony. There is no limit on the number of guests that a graduate may invite.


Photo Specialties will be present to take a photo of each graduate as they cross the stage and receive their diploma. Photograph proofs and order forms will be mailed and emailed to graduates’ addresses within ten days of the ceremony. This service is provided by Photo Specialties; all communications and photo orders will be from Photo Specialties. If you have any questions, you can call them at (919) 967-9576.


Please follow signs and park in designated areas: behind Kittredge Theater, near Jensen Academic building, DeVries Gym, and at the Chapel. Remember, all streets are fire lanes at Warren Wilson. Carpooling is encouraged.  Please allow yourself 30 minutes or so to park and walk to DeVries Gym.

View or print a map of campus.

Handicap Parking / Seating and Other Arrangements

If you require accommodations, please contact AcademicAffairs at or WWC Public Safety at (828) 230-4592.

Cap & Gown / Rehearsal

Details on cap & gown orders and rehearsal are shared with graduating seniors.

Invitations & Diploma Frames

Warren Wilson College is proud to partner with Herff Jones on commencement invitations and diploma frames. This service is provided by Herff Jones; all communications may be directed to our campus representative: Deborah S. Forrest, LLC (704) 962-1483,

You can download and print a PDF commencement announcement here, or use this image for distribution via email.

General Information

For any other information about commencement, please contact Academic Affairs at

Commencement Eastern Hemlock Sapling

Commencement Traditions - Hemlock Seedling

The Eastern Hemlock sapling received with each degree represents a new beginning. Just as each graduate leaves the College to go, lay down roots, and grow, the graduate is encouraged to plant this tree away from campus to represent their mark as a Warren Wilson graduate in the greater world.

Doug Orr at 2006 Commencement

Commencement Traditions - College Tartan

Warren Wilson’s tartan was designed by Sharon Fullerton Grist ’77 to honor the College’s centennial. Blue and gold are the school’s colors. The three bands of maroon represent academics, work, and community engagement; their color signifying the College’s Presbyterian heritage. Gray represents the rock upon which the campus was built and green reflects the landscape. The College’s tartan is registered officially with the Scottish Registry of Tartans.

Dean Paula Garret and President Sandy Pfeiffer at 2011 Commencement

Commencement Traditions - College Mace

The mace represents the authority of the college President and is carried at the head of academic processions by the Chief Marshall, typically the Dean of the College. The Warren Wilson mace was commissioned in 1978 by college President Reuben Holden and created by Swannanoa artist Dirck Cruser. Carved of walnut, the mace bears the symbols of the College: the mountains, the valley, the river, the owl, and the spade. The distinctive curves and carving also form two W’s for “Warren Wilson.”