Jump to Footer

Graduate Commencement Guide

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, the Graduate Ceremony for all students receiving graduate level degrees will be held at the Alumni Healthful Living Center on campus.

President's Medallion

The University is pleased to honor the Graduate Commencement Speaker Dean N. Vanech, and his wife, Denise E. Vanech, for their commitment and dedication to philanthropy.

Dean ’82 and denise ’84 Vanech

Dean N. ’82 and Denise E. ’84 Vanech, distinguished alumni of Western New England University, are among the University’s most generous individual donors. Through the years, they have established an endowed scholarship in memory of Mr. Vanech’s father, Nicholas Vanech, for students who have overcome hardship and seek financial aid. The Health Services suite in the Center for Sciences and Pharmacy was named in honor of Mrs. Vanech’s mother, Joan Evon, whom the Vanechs memorialized through a generous gift. When the St. Germain Campus Center is renovated, their name will also be proudly displayed on a newly created Student Advising Center. This Center will facilitate holistic advising between students and their team of faculty, peer, career, and professional advisors, ensuring a pathway to success in life after college.

Mr. Vanech graduated with a BSBA in Marketing, and is the founder, Chair, and CEO of Olympus Holdings, LLC, a privately held firm based in Morristown, NJ, engaged in electrical energy, entertainment, and commercial finance.

Through its entertainment related activities, Olympus Theatricals actively produces both plays and musicals on Broadway in New York City and in London’s West End, having recently participated in such acclaimed works as Network, Ain’t Too Proud, Carousel, and Dreamgirls, along with many others. In addition, from 2006 until 2015, Olympus Pictures produced numerous independent films, including the successful Beginners, Rabbit Hole, and Adam.

Mr. Vanech founded Delta Power Company in 1997, which became a leading privately owned independent power producer that owned and operated over $3 billion of assets comprising 32 power plants and 3,000 megawatts of electricity across the U.S. Delta Power was sold in 2007, when Mr. Vanech formed Olympus Power to continue efforts in electricity production with an emphasis on environmentally beneficial projects.

Olympus Capital Investments, established to provide growth equity to emerging and established middle market companies, owns J.W. Hulme, one of the oldest leather goods companies in the U.S., as well as other investments in various industries.

Prior to forming Delta Power and Olympus Holdings, Mr. Vanech worked for a number of multi-national companies including Unilever, Enserch/TXU, and Rolls-Royce plc.

He has served on a number of nonprofit boards, many of which he has chaired, including the New York Stage & Film Company, the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, and Citizen Schools New York.

Denise Vanech earned her BSBA in Human Resource Management at Western New England. She is a philanthropist with several years of experience in human resources at Nabisco, American Express Company, and Combustion Engineering. Mrs. Vanech serves on the Board of J.W. Hulme, and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Marist College. Together with her husband, she is a trustee of the Vanech Family Foundation. The foundation was established in 2003 and supports education, human services, and performing arts programs.

Graduate Commencement Resources

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore starting on Wednesday, May 1.  The Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Ceremony Participation Eligibility

All August 2018, October 2018, February 2019, and May 2019 graduates are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Graduates are asked to notify Student Administrative Services at 413-796-2080 immediately if they change their mind about participating in the Commencement ceremony.

Graduates who will be within six credits of graduation as of May 19, 2019, may be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony.   A Participation Request Form must be sent to the Dean's office prior to March 29, 2019.

Commencement Check-in

Graduates are advised to report to the Alumni Healthful Living Center between 1:00 and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.  They should enter the campus by way of the access road next to the Church in the Acres on Wilbraham Road and enter the building through the rear door of the Multipurpose Room. Parking is available in the lot behind the Alumni Healthful Living Center. Graduating seniors must check in and should be dressed in their caps and gowns, as well as appropriate attire. Only graduates who check-in will have their names read during the ceremony. There will be no rehearsal.


May graduates will receive their actual diploma on stage.  If you do not attend Commencement your diploma will be mailed to your home address 3-4 weeks after Commencement. You may arrange to pick up the diploma by contacting Rebecca Sargent in Student Administrative Services at 413-796-2080.  All August, October, and February graduates who have already received their diploma and plan to attend the ceremony will receive a diploma cover containing a letter instead of the diploma.

Family and Guests

Guests must enter through the main entrance of the Alumni Healthful Living Center and must have a ticket to enter. Doors open at 1:00 p.m. The ceremony will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. and will last approximately 2  hours. Seating will be in chairs, not bleachers.

Financial Obligations

The deadline for settling all accounts at the Student Administrative Services Office in order to receive a diploma at Commencement is Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Students who borrow under the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to complete an online exit interview. The Direct Loan Servicing website is https://www.studentloans.gov.  Students who borrow under the Federal Perkins Loan Program are also required to complete an online exit interview . The Perkins Loan exit interview site is https://www.uasexit.com

Invitations and Tickets

Invitations and tickets will be available at the Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore starting Wednesday, May 1. The Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Each graduate is provided with a maximum of 10 tickets. Additional tickets are not available due to space constraints.  If you are having your regalia shipped , your invitations and tickets will be included in the package.  Law graduates will pick up their tickets and invitations in the Law Records office starting May 1.


Parking is available at various locations on campus.  Guests will be directed to parking areas as they approach campus.  As a convenience to guests, shuttle service vans circle the outer campus parking lots on a continuing basis for one hour before and one hour after the ceremony.


Photographs will be taken of each graduate as they receive congratulations from President Caprio. After March 1, log on to http://www.events.lifetouch.com/westernnewenglanduniversity to preregister your email address.  As soon as your Commencement photos are processed you will receive an email from Lifetouch with instructions for viewing and purchasing your photos online.

Special Arrangements

Guests or graduates in need of special arrangements must contact the University by May 10. Please call Rebecca Sargent at 413-796-2080.  There will be a limit of one family member sitting with a guest who requires special accommodations.

Accessible parking near the Alumni Healthful Living Center is limited to vehicles with designated license plates or placards. Drop-off of elderly guests in front of the Alumni Healthful Living Center is available. The University does not provide wheelchairs for guests.

Assisted listening devices are available for use during commencement.  Please contact Bill Arnold, Senior Manager of Media Services, at 413-782-1639 to reserve a device.