Fall leaves colored blue and green

New Student Convocation


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. The Western community looks forward to welcoming new students to the University and commemorating their first step on their academic journey here.

For this year’s ceremony, all students new to Western’s campus are invited to attend, whether this is your first year at Western or your first time on Western’s campus.

President Sabah Randhawa in ceremonial dress standing at a podium


Convocation Program

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Live Stream: 3:30pm

Live Stream

Opening Ceremony

Welcome Back Anthem


Sabah Randhawa

Opening Remarks

Melynda Huskey, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services

Welcome from Academic Affairs

Brent Carbajal, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Welcome from WWU Faculty

Shirin Deylami, Faculty Senate President

Welcome from Recent Graduate

Nate Gaines, Admissions Counselor

Closing Remarks

Melynda Huskey, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services

Alma Mater

Performed by WWU string quartet Emma Simmons, violin; Johana Chai, violin; Lauren Waldron, viola; Kate Koller, cello

Virtual Welcome Corridor

Alma Mater

Words and History

White and Blue

Adapted by Ada Hogle Abbott    

Far above the bay's blue waters stand our own Sehome,
Guarded all around by mountains, crowned by Baker's dome.
Nestling there among the grandeur, reigns the White and Blue.
Colors of our Alma Mater, hail, all hail to you.

Here the youth from farm and seashore gather for the years,
Learning truths that shall be cherished, forming friendships dear,
Soon the ties must all be severed, but they leave with you
Happy memories and best wishes for the White and Blue.

Event Accommodation Requests

Inclusion is one of the core values of Western. For persons who experience a disability, this means designing events that are free of barriers so that full participation can be enjoyed by everyone.

Please email Commencement@wwu.edu to discuss any accommodation requests. We look forward to helping make this a celebratory event for you.

Western Welcome Messages

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.