June 11, UW Tacoma’s 28th annual commencement will consist of two ceremonies held at the Tacoma Dome for graduates of the 2017–2018 academic year.
The first ceremony at 10 a.m. — the Purple Ceremony — will be for graduates of the Institute of Technology, Milgard School of Business, School of Education and urban studies. The second ceremony at 2:30 p.m. — the Gold Ceremony — will be for graduates of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, and Social Work and Criminal Justice.
Graduates had until May 25 to register to participate in commencement and each student could request up to 10 tickets for family and friends. Caps, gowns and regalia purchased during registration can be picked up on two different days in William W. Philip Hall: May 31 3–6 p.m. and June 1 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
UW President Ana Mari Cauce, UWT Chancellor Mark Pagano and ASUWT President Arwa Dubad — a 2018 graduate — will address the audience at both ceremonies. Each ceremony will also have a different national anthem singer and student speaker.
According to Mentha Hynes-Wilson, vice chancellor for Student and Enrollment Services, UWT traditionally has graduating seniors sing the national anthem or give a talk. This year, one of the singers is a child of a graduating senior.
“They were chosen from dozens of highly talented individuals who auditioned before a panel of their peers,” Hynes-Wilson said.
Along with marking the culmination of a students’ educational journey, Hynes-Wilson sees commencement as a time for the graduate and their supporters to celebrate the accomplishment.
“I am so excited to share in this joyous day with each of our graduating students and a tremendous group of people have worked all year to ensure that the graduates and their families have a wonderful graduation experience,” Hynes-Wilson said.
For commencement, Hynes-Wilson suggests that graduates: relax, enjoy the ceremony, arrive early, dress comfortably, pack light, don’t forget their cap and gown, and be aware of staff who are there to help.
She also said graduates should check their email for any announcements and make transportation plans in advance.
Zvon Casanova, program assistant in the Department of Engagement and 2016 UWT alumnus, said that commencement will be a big day for graduates and the entire UWT community.
“It’s important because the small simple process of walking across that stage is a big moment that marks a milestone of accomplishment but also the start of a new journey,” Casanova said. “To be at the ceremony creates the feeling of unity among the graduating class — where [they get] to experience the sense of accomplishment together while family, friends, [and] UWT staff and faculty get to witness and be a part of this celebration.”
Casanova had an important piece of advice for UWT graduates preparing to attend the ceremonies — arrive early to avoid being stuck in traffic when your name is called on stage.
“Beat the traffic by planning for traffic,” Casanova said.
More details about UWT’s 2018 commencement ceremonies can be found at