Fall leaves colored blue and green

Student Convocation

If you are having any difficulties viewing the livestream, an alternate stream is available.


Western kicks off the academic year with the official welcoming ceremony, New Student Convocation. This formal ceremony introduces new students to academic life at Western and is the first assembling of the new academic class. Our Convocation Ceremony marks a new beginning and is the first of the formal ceremonies that frame academic life at Western. This virtual event will start at 3:30 pm on Tuesday September 22nd. It will be followed by an opportunity for students to connect with each other in a variety of themed Zoom rooms with a host to facilitate discussion. In the rooms students will have the chance to meet their classmates from around the world, get tips for navigating student life and get started on a path to academic success. The Western community looks forward to welcoming new students to the University and commemorating their first step on their academic journey here.

President Sabah Randhawa in ceremonial dress standing at a podium


Convocation Program

Download Keepsake Copy


Virtual Ceremony

Opening Ceremony


Sabah Randhawa

Opening Remarks

Melynda Huskey, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services

Welcome from WWU Faculty

Jeff Young, Faculty Senate President

Alma Mater

WWU Spring Quarter string quartet: Emma Simmons, violin; Johana Chai, violin; Lauren Waldron, viola; Kate Koller, cello

Virtual Welcome Corridor


Live Zoom Rooms

Join us after the ceremony in one of our many themed live Zoom rooms to connect with your Western community.


Live Zoom Rooms

Zoom Rooms go live right after Convocation!

Requests for Accomodations

Western is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request an accommodation for one of the Zoom Rooms, such as closed captioning, please contact Gretchen Rumsey-Richardson by Monday, September 21st at 3pm

Academic Life

Come say hello to a couple of Western’s academic advisors who also happen to be alums! We look forward to saying hello and answering any questions you have about advising or why we love Western.

Meet your seminar instructor and fellow students for your Fall Quarter FIG.  Bring any questions you have about the upcoming quarter.

Stop by to say "hi" to a few Energy faculty after Student Convocation. This will be an opportunity to meet other students and ask any and all questions you have. We look forward to meeting you!

This room is aimed at students in the Environmental Justice FIG, but any student interested in the intersections of environment, politics, economics, and identity is welcome to join us. We will make space to answer your questions, begin some community building, and share information about student groups related to the environment and social justice. If there’s time, we can try to make sense of how recent events (e.g. COVID-19, continued racial violence, wildfires) impact environmental (in)justice.

This room is aimed at students in the Frames of Mind FIG.

This room is aimed at students in the Gender & Media FIG.

This room is aimed at students in the Global Citizenship FIG.

Join Dean David Patrick and Graduate School staff for an informal meet and greet. All graduate students are welcome!

Welcome to Western! Join the Honors Program as we kick off this unique school year together. Here you will have some small-group time to chat with other Honors students and the Honors mentors and seek answers to any first-day questions that are coming up. This is a great opportunity to continue to get to know each other, Western Washington University and Bellingham.

Any students interested in studying marine science at Western are welcome to join us. We can answer questions about majors related to marine science, including the new Marine and Coastal Science program (MACS), and help students understand how they can get connected with the Salish Sea both inside and outside the classroom.

Students enrolled in the Marine Science Scholars Distinguished Scholars program, join with your cohort to celebrate officially starting at Western! Your faculty mentor will be here, as well as your peer mentor who participated in the MSS program last year. They can answer questions about MSS, and you can all start to get to know each other.

Campus Engagement

Join AS student leaders to know how to get involved with civic engagement opportunities. Learn about the many opportunities for students to get involved on the local, state, and federal levels!

Come learn and ask questions about the 200+ AS clubs as well as navigating WIN to find clubs, AS programs, campus departments, and events on campus.

Join AS student leaders to learn of ways to get involved in the governance of the Associated Students.

Come learn about Career Services Center resources as well as other resources inside and outside of the classroom that can help guide you towards the career of your dreams.

What is held within the walls of the Viking Union? Join this session hosted by various members of the Viking Union Organization to go on a “choose your own adventure” style virtual tour of the building's facilities, offices, and programs

The facilitators will provide their knowledge and experiences as participants and staff of the Outdoor Center. We will host an open discussion about the facilities and programs we offer including the Equipment Rental and Bike Shop, Excursions, & Challenge Program. They will also cover ongoing leadership and employment opportunities offered through the OC!

Learn about the AS ESC and how we were founded by students of color in 1991, support 19 ethnic and culturally focused clubs, and create community around campus!

Join student leaders and full -time staff as we discuss the many resources available in the Multicultural Center.

SOS CARES: Student Outreach Services serves first-generation, multicultural and non-traditional students and engages students in personalized academic coaching, peer mentoring and specialized programs using a global and multicultural focus to support student persistence and academic achievement.

Meet with Laural Ballew, Western’s Executive Director of American Indian/Alaska Native and First Nations Relations and Tribal Liaison to the President, to get you acclimated to her office and connect with support systems for Native students at WWU.

Meet members of the WWU Athletics Staff, cheer team members and student-athletes in an informal setting to learn more about WWU Athletics and the great success our athletic department has had in its history. We can answer questions about our sports, and even give advice if you are interested in helping out in the athletic department in the future.

Community Engagement

Bellingham is a spectacular place to be! Bring your questions to learn about the endless options that make living and learning in Bellingham and Whatcom County so memorable - even during Covid. Get advice on outdoor activities, vibrant music & arts, scrumptious food, award winning brews (coffee and beer), shopping and entertainment, and vital services. This Zoom Room includes experts from WWU Community Relations, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership about everything Bellingham and Whatcom County. Plus, they're Viking Alums.

Volunteering can lead to a sense of belonging in a new community and we are putting together a small panel of experts to talk about the possibilities. Volunteerism often leads to excellent Internship opportunities! Please join us!

Come meet other incoming students interested in serving local community organizations/non-profits/groups/schools during your college journey. Facilitator is on hand to share info with you about any of the programs that are a part of the WWU Coalition of Community-Engaged Programs, five offices and centers across campus that help you get involved! Don't worry, we have plenty of options during COVID-19!

Other Western Campuses

Please join Dr. Jenise Bauman and our program coordinators for a discussion on life within Huxley on the Peninsulas! We welcome you into our program and look forward to having an open communication style discussion on what it means to be a student within Huxley on the Peninsulas.

This room will be a fun, interactive opportunity to welcome students to WotP - Poulsbo campus where they can virtually meet other students and members of the Poulsbo campus staff and Administration.

Student Success

I will discuss strategies for acing and succeeding student life at Western and Western on the peninsulas. I will also explore topics such as why pursue a degree in management and careers in management. Any other student questions will also be answered.

Learn about you can best utilize customizable resources to search for jobs and internships, network with employers, and discuss career opportunities! Career Services Staff will be available to answer questions you might have about how to access resources and people remotely, and we would welcome learning how we can support you! Staff will also be joined by Lead Student Peer in the Career Services Center, Guadalupe Castillo. Guadalupe is now a sophomore, and can discuss student-to-student resources available through Career Services, and her perspective utilizing resources!

Join WWU Suicide Prevention Coordinator Amy Dunham to learn about how to cultivate resilience and mental wellness at college, and during COVID. Hear from a WWU student about their experience with resilience and mental health during college. Learn about some of the resources WWU offers to stay mentally well!

Pursuing a career in healthcare is exciting and can feel overwhelming! Come chat with our professional pre-healthcare advisors and other students interested in pursuing health careers, share your ideas and get your questions answered.

With virtual learning environments you may be living at home with family for your first year of college. Learn tips and tricks from two housing professionals about have a successful relationship and college career with your new college “roommate(s)”.

Worried about not making friends at Western? Come join our session to meet off campus students like you and make connections outside of your house.

Do you want to see the world? How about seeing the world while earning credit toward your degree program? Join this session to learn how to study abroad while at Western and what financial aid and scholarship resources are available to you.

Join us to discuss your questions about Western and the learning communities in our Libraries. Learn about: getting support with your math and science GUR courses, finding resources for your classes, getting research and writing help, accessing our digital collections, and so much more!

Meet some of the staff at the VSO, learn more about your benefits at Western as a military connected student and meet our mental Health Counselor and learn about our Coffee with a Counselor program where you have a chance to meet with our counselor in a group setting every Monday!

Join the Orientation Student Advisor staff for tips and tricks to navigate a successful transition to the Western and Bellingham communities. Meet other students, learn more about student life on and off campus, and ask your questions to our seasoned student experts!

Join staff from the Counseling Center to learn about our services, the transition to virtual care, and the variety of group and workshop offerings centering holistic health and well-being for fall quarter!

As you enter WWU, what are your initial thoughts how you will impact at Western, your education, and the community. What do you want your impact to be in the community once your graduate?

Memory Walk and Alumni Way


A long line of students in caps and gowns walking down the brick path in front of old main


Memory Walk has been a commencement tradition since 1912. Each year, a stone representing the graduating class is laid in the sidewalk that runs parallel to the facade of Old Main, Western’s first building. Beneath each of these class stones lie time capsules. At the conclusion of the spring and summer commencement ceremonies, the graduates follow the macebearer, the president’s party and the faculty out of Carver Academic Facility. Graduates proceed across Red Square through Alumni Way to Memory Walk where they may place their student body cards or other memorabilia into a box which will be buried beneath the stone bearing their class year. Paving their way to Memory Walk are thousands of individually personalized bricks. Purchased by Western alumni, families, and friends commemorating their time at Western over the past 100 years, these bricks support Western students and alumni through scholarships and various programs. Learn more about the Alumni Association.

Class of 1900


A group of eight women in Edwardiam dress.

Did you know that Western Washington University was originally called the New Whatcom Normal School, and was a teaching college for women?

Show here is the first graduating class of Bellingham Normal School, 1900. Front row: Margaret J. Clark, Clara Norman, Hattie B. Thompson, Kate M. Schutt, Florence M. Griffith. Back row: Pauline Jacobs, Ruth P. Pratt, Emma Mythaler.