Commencement 2022

May 21, 2022

Watch the livestream here!


The commencement ceremony for the Class of 2022 will be held on the morning of Saturday, May 21 in the Ross Recreational Center on the W&J Campus.

Time: 10 a.m. The doors will open at 8:30 a.m.
Location:   James David Ross Recreational Center, Washington, PA 15301

A hospitality center with complimentary coffee, water, and danish will be available in the lobby of Henry Gymnasium.

Commencement Speakers

The keynote speaker for the 2022 Commencement Ceremony will be Nathan Law, internationally recognized advocate for democracy and human rights. Mr. Law came to prominence as a college student while leading the pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" in Hong Kong. He has testified before the United States Congress and was a speaker at the December 2021 White House Summit for Democracy. He was nominated in 2018 for the Nobel Peace Prize by U.S. congressmen and British parliament members, conferred the Magnitsky Human Rights award in 2020, and awarded the Democracy Medal by the International Association of Political Consultants in 2017. Read more here.

Gabrielle Pasternak '22 will represent the Class of 2022 as the Senior Speaker during this year's Commencement ceremony. Gabrielle is an Economics and Accounting major on the Pre-law track. She has held leadership roles with Student Government Association, the Accounting Society, Alpha Lambda Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and many other organizations. She plans to work at Ernst & Young as an assurance associate prior to law school.

1781 Afternoon Tea

Following the Commencement Ceremony, students and their families can meet on the lawn outside Old Main and McMillan Hall for a traditional 1781 Afternoon Tea and an opportunity to share one last thank-you and good-bye.

ROTC Officer Commissioning Ceremony

Taking place on May 20th at 10:00am at the University of Pittsburgh. View the livestream on Instagram and follow the Three Rivers Battalion on Facebook.

Cap, Gown, and Ticket Distribution

Graduating seniors can pick up their cap, gown, and tickets from the Campus Store beginning May 9, at any time during the store's operating hours:

  • Campus Store Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Commencement Weekend Hours: Saturday, May 21, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Unless notified otherwise, all graduating seniors will receive four tickets for the Commencement ceremony at the time of pick-up.

Commencement Stoles
The Office of Belonging & Engagement is fulfilling requests for stoles representing racial/ethnic/religious heritage, identity, or organizational affiliation. Seniors who have submitted cultural stole requests can pick up stoles from the Engagement Team at any time.
Students planning to wear stoles or cords from non-cultural organizations, or academic departments, should contact those organizations and departments for information about stole and cord orders and pick-up.


Use the interactive map to the right for turn-by-turn directions to the appropriate parking lots.

General Parking: We invite guests to utilize the Grant Lot and the lower level of the Church of the Covenant's parking lot. W&J will be provide convenient shuttle service from the Grant Lot.

Handicap Parking: Please use the Lincoln Lot for handicap access.

Live Stream

The ceremony will be live streamed for family and friends. More information including the link to the live streaming site will be available later in the semester.  The livestream will be available on Youtube.

Champagne Reception and Senior Class Photo

Dr. Knapp and Kelly Knapp will be hosting the Class of 2022 for the traditional champagne toast on Friday, May 20. All graduating seniors are invited to attend and celebrate their accomplishments and graduation. A printed invitation will be sent to seniors' campus mailboxes.

Graduating seniors should join their classmates at 5:30 p.m. on May 20 in front of Old Main for a senior class photo and then walk to Burnett Lawn for hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and a toast to their future. Seniors will also receive a commemorative champagne flute and a special gift.

Safety Policy

In line with our current campus policy, W&J does not require mask wearing in Ross Recreation Center, and will not require Commencement guests to show proof of vaccination. Please know that we are continuing to monitor both the CDC guidelines and the safety conditions in the City of Washington and Washington County. These guidelines may need to change quickly depending on that information. We encourage everyone to be mindful of maintaining best practices for personal health and safety and to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families. We also support and respect any individual that wishes to continue to wear a mask in public settings for their personal health and safety.

Photography and Videography

A photographer will be at the ceremony to take a candid photograph of each graduate receiving his or her diploma. You will receive proofs of this photo in the mail. Since photographs will be available for purchase, family members and guests are asked to remain in their seats during the ceremony.