Students in robes walking from marker ceremony.

Commencement Ceremonies


MARKER CEREMONY: Friday, May 15, 2020 | 6:15 PM 
BACCALAUREATE: Friday, May 15, 2020 | 7:00 PM 
COMMENCEMENT: Saturday, May 16, 2020 | 10:00 AM 

Wesleyan Circle logo with a W and the date of 1836.


Benson Charge: “Members of the graduating class, demands will be made upon you which were not made upon us. Your training, if you are true to it, will amply qualify you to meet those demands. No wiser blessing could I wish for you than that you may be true to every God-appointed work.” Catherine Brewer Benson, Wesleyan College’s first graduate, Class of 1840.

Commencement Schedule

May 2020

May 14

  • 6:00pmPinning Ceremony for Nursing Graduates, Pierce Chapel

May 15

  • 6:15pmHistoric Marker Ceremony*, Main Post Office, Downtown Macon. U.S. Post Office at 451 College Street
  • 7:00pmBaccalaureate service**, Mulberry United Methodist Church, 719 Mulberry Street             

May 16

  • 9:00am: Doors open to Porter Auditorium for guests with tickets only.
  • 9:45am: Available seats will be open to the public with no ticket required (General Admission). Seating will no longer be open on the main level of the auditorium – only in the balcony.
  • 10:00am: Commencement Ceremony, Porter Auditorium 
  • 12:00pm: Lemonade on the Lawn - Reception for graduates & families, sponsored by Wesleyan College Alumnae Association/Alumnae Office. 
  • Rain site: Anderson Dining Hall
General Guest Information
  • Parking will be in lots A & B. A map is attached. We will have some golf carts shuttling from the parking lots. Please allow time for parking. 
  • Guest Seating for December Commencement in Pierce Chapel is available without a ticket, and all guests should be seated by 5:50 p.m. so that the processional may commence at 5:55pm . For May Commencement in Porter Auditorium, entry is only with a ticket 9am - 9:45am, followed by non-ticketed (General Admission) seating from 9:45am-9:50am, ending in time for the processional. Please inform guests to be seated and remain seated throughout the ceremony, exiting only during applause (not during speaking) and only if it is an emergency. Strollers, balloons and other large items, if they must be brought in, will be stored in the small room off the side of the lobby. Please direct any special needs requests to Jill Amos, Director of Disability and Advocacy Services at
  • Children 3 and under do not need a ticket at May Commencement if they will sit comfortably in the lap of a seated guest for the duration of the Ceremony. Children 4 and over, and those 3 and under who want their own seat, must have a ticket to enter before 9:45am, when non-ticketed General Admission begins.
  • Professional photographs will be available for FREE download, taken by Wesleyan's photographer and a contracted photographer at the Ceremony, and they will be placed on Wesleyan College's flickr account for free download, within the few weeks after Commencement. Guests, please do not obstruct the photographers' or the videographer's sight lines to the stage. Graduates will pause for two professional photos -- one receiving diploma from President Vivia Fowler, and one with both Graduate and President facing the camera. The flickr account will include these free photos and others for download, including the group class photo, and likely more of the processional and gathering after the Ceremony for "Lemonade on the Lawn".  
  • Exiting: Guests, please clear the exits, porch and driveway. If you would like to take photographs, please move to the lawn, to avoid obstructing the flow of traffic.

Livestream Link (for remote viewing of Commencement): Commencement Ceremony is featured on the Wesleyan College Youtube channel. The direct link is available when we start streaming, so that guests can view remotely:

Summer Commencement will be August 15, 2020


Spring Commencement Traditions


The Marker Ceremony

Wesleyan College’s tradition of the Marker Ceremony began in 1986 during the celebration of the College’s sesquicentennial anniversary. On the evening before Commencement every year since, graduating seniors and faculty process in regalia from the Old Wesleyan campus site on College Street to Mulberry Street United Methodist Church for Baccalaureate Ceremonies. The route followed today is the same that students took when walking to church services from the downtown campus. Old Wesleyan site, U.S. Post Office at 451 College Street.

Students stand in front of marker at ceremony


Baccalaurete service

The Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate is an occasion of prayer, song, and celebration held each year on the eve of Commencement. Originating at Oxford University, England, during the 15th century, Baccalaureate is a cherished part of Wesleyan’s Commencement exercises.

Mulberry Street United Methodist Church first hosted Wesleyan’s Commencement exercises in 1852 and we are deeply grateful for this historic relationship. Located in downtown Macon at the corner of First and Mulberry Streets. Family and friends of the graduating class are invited to both the Baccalaureate Service and Marker Ceremony. Graduates and faculty please wear regalia for both events. Mulberry Street United Methodist Church, 719 Mulberry Street.

Graduation Photos

Find recent graduation photos on Wesleyan's Flickr account. 

Schedules for Graduation

Find out more details about upcoming Commencement schedules and details.


What is a hooder?

A Hooder is someone who places an academic hood over the graduate’s head during Commencement exercises. An academic hood is a garment that is worn around your neck and drapes over your shoulders and down your back. Wesleyan’s academic hood for bachelor students has a purple lining and purple edge.

Each graduate needs a Hooder to bestow the honor of the graduation hood, someone who will attend both Commencement rehearsal and the Commencement Ceremony. For most graduates, the Hooder is someone who has held an essential supportive role in the graduate's educational journey. Contact Theresa Abercrombie if you need or prefer to have a volunteer Hooder assigned.

Hooders must be at least 16 years of age and wear a white dress, white dress shirt, or blouse with white or black pants or skirt.


First College in the World Chartered to grant degrees to women.

Diploma from 1840

Catherine Brewer Benson

In 1840, Catherine Elizabeth Brewer Benson became the first woman to receive her degree from the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. 

Catherine Elizabeth Brewer Benson 1840 In the 1839 Georgia Female College catalog, twenty young women are listed in the Junior Class. Of this number, eleven graduated on the night of July 16, 1840, and were pioneers in education for women. By virtue of being alphabetically the first in line, Catherine Elizabeth Brewer was the first woman to receive her degree from the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. READ MORE

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