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Undergraduate Commencement Guide

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, the Undergraduate Ceremony for all students receiving associate's and bachelor's degrees will be held at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Honorary Degree

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Kevin S. Delbridge ’77

A senior advisor at HarbourVest Partners, LLC of Boston, Kevin S. Delbridge ’77 is a distinguished alumnus, longtime Trustee, and the largest individual donor in the University’s 100-year history. Joining the University’s Board of Trustees in 1998, Mr. Delbridge has held leadership positions as vice chairman (2006 to 2009) and chairman (2009 to 2015). He served as cochair of the Transformations Campaign (2003 to 2008) and is an honorary cochair of the Campaign for Our Second Century, the University’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date.

Mr. Delbridge and his wife, Sandra, have provided scholarships to hundreds of deserving students through the Kevin S. Delbridge Endowed Scholarship and the Delbridge Family Endowed Scholarship. Thanks to his generosity, thousands of visitors, students, faculty, and staff have passed through the doors of the Kevin S. Delbridge Welcome Center. In recognition of his support, spaces in Sleith Hall and the Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy also bear his name.

After graduating from Western New England University with his BSBA in Accounting, Mr. Delbridge passed the CPA exam in 1977. He received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1985 and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1987. He launched his career as an auditor at Coopers & Lybrand, then moved on to CIGNA’s Venture Capital Group. In 1988, he joined John Hancock Venture Capital, a subsidiary of John Hancock Insurance. In 1997, he and other senior partners bought the venture company and formed HarbourVest Partners. After longtime service as the firm’s Senior Managing Director, in 2010 he became a Senior Advisor. In this role, he provides input on firm strategy, investment reviews, and special projects. A military veteran, Mr. Delbridge honorably served his country with six years in the U.S. Naval Reserves, including two years stationed in Washington, DC. After his assignment in Washington, he completed his studies at Western New England while fulfilling his role in the Reserves.

Mr. Delbridge has also given of his time and expertise on the Board of Governors at Tufts Medical Center. He has served on the Boards of both the Hopkinton (MA) Community Endowment and the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. Recently, he joined the Board of Directors of FloDesign Sonics, a biotech company started by graduates and faculty of Western New England University.

Mr. Delbridge will continue to guide the University into its second century. His vision and his major gift to our current campaign will help the University to reimagine and transform the Career Development Center into a premier destination for students, alumni, and employers as Western New England University continues to prepare its students for the careers of tomorrow.

At Western New England University, Mr. Delbridge will always remain an inspiration to all of us.

Undergraduate Commencement Resources

Invitations and Tickets

Invitations and tickets will be available at the Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore starting on April 15.. 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 graduating senior candidate is provided with a maximum of four tickets.  For those individuals who have larger immediate family members, please email records@wne.edu to add your extra ticket requests to our wait list. The tickets will be disseminated on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, once the wait list has been exhausted, we will have a limited number of additional tickets available for an overflow location, where the ceremony will be streamed live on the web.

Commencement Check-in

Graduating seniors are advised to report to the Alumni Healthful Living Center between 1:00 and 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.  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. Graduating students are asked not to attach items such as flowers, ribbons, or signs to their caps and gowns. There will be no rehearsal.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the Blue and Gold Campus Bookstore starting on April 15. The cost for an undergraduate cap, gown, and tassel is $34.00.  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. 

Diplomas and Honors

Graduating seniors will receive their actual diploma on stage.  If you do not attend Commencement, your diploma will be mailed to your home address 2-3 weeks after Commencement. You may arrange to pick up the diploma by contacting Rebecca Sargent in Student Administrative Services at 413-796-2080.

Honors are awarded to Undergraduate students for superior scholastic achievement.  Students are awarded honors if, in addition to satisfying all other requirements for the degree, they have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at the University and have earned the required grade point average.

Cum Laude requires a grade point average of at least 3.30.
Magna Cum Laude requires a grade point average of at least 3.60.
Summa Cum Laude requires a grade point average of at least 3.80.

Students who graduate with between 45 and 59 credit hours completed at the University and who have a grade point average in those courses of 3.50 or higher graduate "with Honors"

Any honors designation will be on the diploma, printed in the program, and announced when the diploma is awarded. Undergraduate degree candidates who qualify for honors will be given their honor cord at Commencement check-in.

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

Photographs

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.

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 1/2 hours. Seating will be in chairs, not bleachers.

Parking

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.

Special Arrangements

Guests or graduates in need of special arrangements must contact the University.  Please contact the office of Student Activities and Leadership Development at 413-782-1203, anytime from April 29 until May 10. 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.

Ceremony Participation Eligibility

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

Graduating seniors who will be within six credits of graduation as of May 18, 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.