COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES

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

SPRING COMMENCEMENT
WESLEYAN COLLEGE CAMPUS

Friday, May 14, 2021 | 6:30 PM | Marker Ceremony
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 7:00 PM | Baccalaureate Service
Saturday, May 15, 2021 | 10:00 AM | Commencement Ceremony

Commencement Schedule
May 14
  • May 14 – Historic Marker Ceremony
    6:30 pm, Wesleyan College (further instructions will be given)
  • May 14 – Baccalaureate Service
    7:00 pm, Porter Auditorium, limited seating.

May 15 – GRADUATION DAY
  • 9:00am – Seating begins for guests with tickets only.
  • 9:15am – Graduates will line up in designated location.
    Junior Marshals will direct you. Please bring your tassel and hood, and dress in cap and gown. 
  • 9:45am – Procession starts.
    Everyone including guests must be in place before procession.
  • 10:00am – Commencement Ceremony. Wesleyan College Quad.
  • 11:00pm – Lemonade on the Lawn following Commencement 
    Reception for graduates & families, sponsored by Wesleyan College Alumnae Association/Alumnae Office. Rain site: Anderson Dining Hall
General Guest Information
Parking
  • Please allow time to park and walk to the quad, where the ceremony will be held.
  • There will be volunteers to direct traffic and indicate places to drop off guests, if needed.
Guest Seating
  • Each graduate will receive 6 wristbands for their guests, and there will be chairs in the Quad for these guests. Guests must have a wristband to sit in the Quad. Seating in the Quad will begin at 9:00 am. (If students obtain additional wristbands, their guests can move chairs as needed).
  • RSVP for your Baccalaureate guests no later than April 12. Invitations will be mailed in mid-April.
  • There will be an overflow area on the lawn in front of Porter Auditorium, guests without wristbands are welcome to sit in this area. (Sight and sound will be limited. Guests will need to provide their own seating in the overflow area.)
  • Commencement is outside and could potentially be hot. It is recommended that you dress for these conditions.
  • Pets (except service animals) are prohibited.
  • Please do not bring large packages/balloons or wear large hats. They may obstruct the view of other guests.
  • To request special needs please submit this form by May 1 or email the Director of Disability and Advocacy Services at jamos@wesleyancollege.edu
Safety Procedures

Wesleyan College has a long history of cordially welcoming visitors to our campus. In this age of COVID-19, we have added requirements for visitors on our campus.

  • Each guest must wear a cloth or procedural face mask that covers their face and mouth during the entire ceremony and while on campus. (Masks with vents are not acceptable.)
  • All guests must maintain 6 feet of distance between people while on campus, unless you are with someone with whom you live.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizer stations on campus.
  • Our Director of Health Services will be on campus during the ceremony. There will also be sunscreen and ant/mosquito spray available, if needed, at the nurse’s station.
  • Please do not come to campus if you are ill, have any symptoms of illness, or have been exposed in the last 14 days to COVID-19.
  • All guests must observe instructional signs and follow any directions given.
  • Details for the ceremony could change due to COVID-19 restrictions beyond our control.
Additional Information
  • Livestream Link (for remote viewing): The event will be featured on the College YouTube channel. The direct link is available when we start streaming so guests can view remotely. If guests subscribe to our channel, they will receive a notification when the event begins.
  • Professional photographs - taken by Wesleyan's photographer and a contracted photographer - will be available for FREE download, and will be placed on the College's Flickr account for free download within a few weeks after Commencement. Please do not obstruct the photographers' sight lines to the stage. Graduates will pause for professional photos. Please do not use flash photography during the ceremony.

If you have lost someone close to you, whose name you would like announced "in memoriam" at the Baccalaureate Service, please complete one form per loved one to be remembered, by May 13. 

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.

 

Spring Commencement Traditions

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, these traditions will be carried out differently in 2021.

 

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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