Commencement 2021


Commencement for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m. Final Walk will immediately follow the commencement ceremony.

The ceremony will be held in Abel Stadium to allow the necessary physical distancing between our graduates and their families, faculty and staff. Based on university protocol, five family members per graduate will be permitted to attend the ceremony. Graduates and guests will sit together on the football field in reserved pod-style seating. Handicap seating is available in each pod. A live webstream will be provided.

This will be held rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather during the morning of May 8, we will hold the ceremony at 3:30 p.m. the same day. Should inclement weather be forecast for the entire day, we will move the ceremony to Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m.

Should state or local directed health measures become more restricted, schedule and safety updates will be emailed to graduates and their families and posted on this page.

Graduates must RSVP to attend to allow the university to adequately staff the ceremony and plan for physical distancing.

Commencement Day Schedule
9:15 a.m. Graduates assemble in Knight Fieldhouse, Weary Center
9:30 a.m. Faculty assemble in Knight Fieldhouse, Weary Center
10 a.m. Commencement procession to Abel Stadium
Noon Commencement recessional through campus for the traditional Final Walk


At the conclusion of the Final Walk, graduates will pick up their diplomas in Knight Field House.


Safety Procedures

The university continues to follow state and local directed health measures and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For the ceremony, the university will observe the following procedures:

  • Face coverings required for all attendees
  • Graduates will be limited in number of guests
  • Family groups are seated together on the football field only. No seating will be permitted in the bleachers, per the commencement safety plan approved by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance of the stadium
  • There will be no handshakes, hugs or high fives.


Baccalaureate is planned for Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m. This service is for graduates only to allow for safe social distancing at First United Methodist Church.

Seating is limited and RSVPs are required for attendance. RSVPs must be received by Tuesday, April 20.

A webstream will be available for family and friends of the graduates. Watch web stream.

Final Walk

A tradition at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the final walk across campus symbolizes the culmination of a graduate’s four years of learning and living at NWU. Just as they did to begin their academic careers, during the final walk graduates will pass under one of Nebraska Wesleyan’s famous arches—the symbol of the university.

The final walk will begin immediately following the commencement ceremony as students process out of the stadium. We ask that families limit the number of people who watch the final walk at the arch at 50th Street and Saint Paul Ave. as the area could become crowded. A live websteam of Final Walk will be available on the Nebraska Wesleyan Facebook page.


Graduates will be permitted a total of five guests for the commencement ceremony. Each graduate will have a “pod” of 6 chairs (one chair for the graduate and five chairs for up to five guests). No tickets are required, but invited guests must check in at the registration desk outside the stadium prior to the ceremony. Guests will receive their assigned seat location at that time. Ushers will be available to help direct guests to their seats. No seating will be permitted in the bleachers, per the commencement safety plan approved by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department.

We encourage guests to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony to check in and locate their seats. 


The ceremony will be held outdoors, so we encourage guests to dress accordingly. If the weather is cool, a light jacket or blanket may be appropriate. If the weather is warm, sunscreen and hats are recommended. Bottled water will be provided to graduates and available to guests at the concession stand.

The ceremony will be postponed only in the event of severe weather.


All campus parking lots are available for commencement parking. Street parking is also available however, parking will NOT be permitted on Madison Avenue between 50th and 56th Streets. Parking attendants will be available to help direct traffic, and complimentary golf cart shuttles will run from designated lots throughout campus to aid guests as needed. Handicapped parking is available in the lot located directly to the south of the Story Student Center.

You may download the parking map to see all available parking options and shuttle locations.


The Prairie Wolves Bookstore located in the Story Student Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 for late gown pick-up (if necessary), graduate gown return and to purchase NWU memorabilia.

Coffee House

Families and friends may take a break in the Archway Café Coffee House located in the lower level of the Story Student Center. The café will be open from 7-11 a.m.

Welcome from the NWU Alumni Association

Upon graduation you will join thousands of alumni across the country (and the world) as a member of the NWU Alumni Association. No dues required.

All graduates will pick up their official alumni welcome packet in Knight Field House when they pick up their diploma. The packet includes a free NWU alumni license plate holder, alumni decal, and other NWU swag.

If you are unable to pick up your packet in person, please contact Alumni Relations at alumni [at] or 402-465-2568.

Additional Information for Graduates

Graduation Requirements

Prior to commencement all graduates must complete the required paperwork and verifications as requested by the registrar’s office. Please refer to your NWU email account for additional details regarding this information.

All caps and gowns must be ordered for commencement by March 26 deadline. See the information below for additional ordering details.

Cap and Gown Ordering Information

Caps and gowns, personalized announcements, diploma frames, and rings can now be ordered online. To place your order, visit the Herff Jones website. Please take note of the deadlines below to ensure receiving your items in a timely manner.

Cap, gown, and Master’s hood orders should be completed online by Friday, March 26. After this date, the online order function will NOT be available. Regalia will be available in store starting March 29 for emergency situations, but is not guaranteed. Ordering by the deadline is highly recommended.

Online orders are due to arrive the week of April 26. You may have your order delivered to the Prairie Wolves Bookstore in Lincoln, the Omaha Advantage office, or directly to your home. All orders should be picked up by Friday, May 7, at 5 p.m.

You can keep all items in your order, so you do NOT need to return anything after the ceremony. (Pricing: $48 plus tax, which includes gown, cap, and tassel).

Option 1: Gown and Hood Rental - Gowns and hoods are rentals and need to be returned to the Bookstore after the ceremony. (Pricing: $80 plus tax, which includes rental gown and hood with a keeper cap and tassel).

Option 2: Gown and Hood Purchase - If you would like to keep your gown and/or hood, please contact the bookstore (402-465-2490) for pricing and place your order with them directly. These orders need to be placed by Friday, March 19.

Orders for all other personalized items including announcements, diploma frames and rings will require 3-4 weeks to process and ship, so please order accordingly. Generic announcements are available for purchase in the bookstore.

Additional Information for Guests


All NWU commencement guests may receive special hotel rates at the below establishments. To make a reservation please use the following phrasing—“I would like to make a reservation for the NWU commencement at the Nebraska Wesleyan negotiated rate.” Please book by April 7.

Hotel Address Price Phone
Comfort Suites 4231 Industrial Ave. Starting at $129 (402) 476-8080
Country Inn & Suites 5353 N. 27th Street Starting at $89 (402) 476-5353
New Victorian Suites 225 N. 50th Street Starting at $79.99 (402) 464-4400
Staybridge Suites 2701 Fletcher Avenue Starting at $94.99 (402) 438-7829
Fairfield Inn North 4221 Industrial Ave. Starting at $129 (402) 476-6000

Maps and Directions

Directions Maps
From the airport
Take West Adams out of airport.
Right on Cornhusker Highway.
Right on 48th Street.
Left on Saint Paul Ave. (third stoplight).

From the east on I–80
Take Waverly exit (#409)
Left on Cornhusker Highway.
Left on 48th Street.
Left on Saint Paul Ave. (third stoplight)

From the west on I–80
Take Superior Street exit (#401)
Left onto Superior Street.
Right on 48th Street.
Left on Saint Paul Ave. (third stoplight)

From the southeast on Highway 2
Right on 84th Street.
Left on Adams Street. (after several miles on 84th)
Left on 48th Street.
Left on Saint Paul Ave. (first stop light)

Lincoln Campus Map

Campus map


Lincoln Map

Photography & Videography

Professional photographers from GradImages will also be on hand during the day to capture pictures of all graduates. Photos may be ordered by visiting the grad images website.

A live webstream will be available for family and friends of the graduates.