COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES

SPRING CEREMONY

BACCALAUREATE: Friday, May 15, 2020 | 7:00 PM 
COMMENCEMENT: Saturday, May 16, 2020 | 10:00 AM 

Wesleyan College honored the graduating Class of 2020 during commencement exercises Saturday, May 16. Usually held in Porter Auditorium, this year’s event was a virtual celebration enjoyed by our seniors, members of their families, friends, and the Wesleyan family watching from their devices all over the country and from around the world in order to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 700 people have watched the ceremony and the conferring of degrees, and you can too. 

The previous evening, a special Zoom session live-streamed baccalaureate services. We invite you to join more than 450 people who have enjoyed watching the service. You can find videos of both services below.

SUMMER COMMENCEMENT DETAILS

Summer Commencement

Congratulations graduates! We are so proud of what you have accomplished in your time at Wesleyan. Barring any changes by the government, we are planning a “physically distanced” ceremony on August 8th. To make this work, there will be two ceremonies. You will be sent 8 tickets for guests.

  • 7:00pm | Friday, August 7
    Nursing pinning and commencement ceremony
  • 10:00am | Saturday, August 8
    Graduate Students (M.Ed. and MBA) commencement ceremony
  • 1:00pm | Saturday, August 8
    Business, education, and biology majors commencement ceremony
  • 3:00pm | Saturday, August 8
    Fine arts, humanities, and social science majors commencement ceremony


Wesleyan efforts to make this ceremony safer:

  • Blocking off seats in the auditorium so that no one can sit next to each other, seats will be 6 feet apart. 
  • Graduates will have to stay 6 feet from each other throughout the ceremony. 
  • You will not be able to shake the President’s hand, but we will still celebrate with you. 
  • No hooders for the ceremony. 
  • The auditorium will be cleaned between the two ceremonies. 
  • Guests will not be able to arrive until the designated time. We will live stream the ceremony for others to watch the ceremony. 
  • You will be sent 8 tickets for guests.There will be NO overflow tickets given. If someone does not have a ticket, they should not come to the ceremony. 

 

Spring Commencement Traditions

 

The Marker Ceremony

Wesleyan College’s tradition of the Marker Ceremony began in 1986 during the celebration of the College’s sesquicentennial anniversary. On the evening before Commencement every year since, graduating seniors and faculty process in regalia from the Old Wesleyan campus site on College Street to Mulberry Street United Methodist Church for Baccalaureate Ceremonies. The route followed today is the same that students took when walking to church services from the downtown campus. Old Wesleyan site, U.S. Post Office at 451 College Street.

Students stand in front of marker at ceremony

 

Baccalaurete service

The Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate is an occasion of prayer, song, and celebration held each year on the eve of Commencement. Originating at Oxford University, England, during the 15th century, Baccalaureate is a cherished part of Wesleyan’s Commencement exercises.

Mulberry Street United Methodist Church first hosted Wesleyan’s Commencement exercises in 1852 and we are deeply grateful for this historic relationship. Located in downtown Macon at the corner of First and Mulberry Streets. Family and friends of the graduating class are invited to both the Baccalaureate Service and Marker Ceremony. Graduates and faculty please wear regalia for both events. Mulberry Street United Methodist Church, 719 Mulberry Street.

 

What is a hooder?

A Hooder is someone who places an academic hood over the graduate’s head during Commencement exercises. An academic hood is a garment that is worn around your neck and drapes over your shoulders and down your back. Wesleyan’s academic hood for bachelor students has a purple lining and purple edge.

Each graduate needs a Hooder to bestow the honor of the graduation hood, someone who will attend both Commencement rehearsal and the Commencement Ceremony. For most graduates, the Hooder is someone who has held an essential supportive role in the graduate's educational journey. Contact Theresa Abercrombie if you need or prefer to have a volunteer Hooder assigned.

Hooders must be at least 16 years of age and wear a white dress, white dress shirt, or blouse with white or black pants or skirt.

 

First College in the World Chartered to grant degrees to women.

Diploma from 1840

Catherine Brewer Benson

In 1840, Catherine Elizabeth Brewer Benson became the first woman to receive her degree from the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. 

Catherine Elizabeth Brewer Benson 1840 In the 1839 Georgia Female College catalog, twenty young women are listed in the Junior Class. Of this number, eleven graduated on the night of July 16, 1840, and were pioneers in education for women. By virtue of being alphabetically the first in line, Catherine Elizabeth Brewer was the first woman to receive her degree from the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. READ MORE

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