William Woods to host commencement April 29

This Fulton Sun file photo from March 19, 2020, shows seniors at William Woods University filing into a commencement ceremony.

Williams Woods University is hosting its 2023 commencement ceremonies on Saturday, marking the start of graduation season in Callaway County.

WWU's commencement events will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 29. Graduating students who are receiving a bachelor or associate degree are able to check-in for the commencement ceremony.

Doors to McNutt Campus Center -- where the ceremonies will take place -- will open for guests at 8:30 a.m.

The bachelor and associate degree ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Cutlip Auditorium in McNutt Campus Center.

The convocation ceremony for undergraduate students will be at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 28. This ceremony will honor seniors for their academic and co-curricular achievements.

Convocation will begin with the Ivy Ceremony, which will be at Senior Lake. Registration for the ceremony can be completed in front of the Academic Building main entrance facing Senior Lake.

A professional photographer will be at the ceremony. Students participating in the event are reminded to wear their cap and gown.

The Senior Soiree will begin immediately after the Ivy Ceremony. The soiree will feature gourmet light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.

The commencement ceremony for doctorate, master and education specialist degrees will begin at 2 p.m. This ceremony will also be at Cutlip Auditorium inside McNutt Campus Center.

Students participating in the ceremony can check-in at 12:30 p.m. Doors will open for guests at 1 p.m.

A graduate seniors reception will take place immediately following the ceremony.

Both ceremonies typically last for one hour.

Students will assemble for the ceremonies in the Dulany Library Auditorium one hour prior to the scheduled start time.

The ceremonies will also be broadcast live online. To view the streams, go to portal.stretchinternet.com/wwuowlsadmin. The streams will go live approximately 15 minutes before each ceremony.

The speaker for both ceremonies will be Byron Bagby, a U.S. Army veteran with 33 years of service. He retired at the rank of Major General.

Bagby is a Fulton native, and is a member of the WWU Board of Trustees. He graduated from Westminster College with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.

He also received a master's in education in higher education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Byron Bagby's extraordinary life story, from serving his country at the highest level of leadership in the Armed Forces, to his impressive civilian career in fostering executive leadership development, coaching and strategy, is one that will serve as an inspiration for our graduates," WWU president Jeremy Moreland said in a release.

Bagby's commencement address will focus on the importance of "GRACE" in achieving professional success.

While WWU's commencement might seem early compared to other colleges, it is typical for it to be earlier than others.

The ceremonies are held in late April or early May to accommodate WWU's two eight-week summer sessions of online classes.

Westminster College's commencement will be on Saturday, May 13.

To learn more about the commencement ceremonies, visit williamwoods.edu/current_students/registrar/commencement.html.