Commencement | May 2020


OKWU Students and Families,

Decisions resulting from responses to the Covid-19 pandemic do not come easy for anyone. One of these difficult yet necessary decisions deals with the most cherished event we have as a university each year: Commencement.

Commencement and Baccalaureate cannot take place in-person as originally scheduled for May 8-9, 2020. Oklahoma Wesleyan University has determined the health and safety of our students, families, friends, and communities must come first. We must also give ample time for everyone to know how to plan for these events.

Class of 2020, I genuinely regret you did not get to enjoy these final weeks as students together, and I’m sorry that you won’t have your final celebration with your classmates as expected in May of this year. It is important that the OKWU community celebrate your achievements with you. Wendy and I want to celebrate with you, your family members, and your friends.

Accordingly, our faculty and administration team has taken this challenge on as a top priority. In the coming weeks we look forward to sharing the ways we will celebrate graduates:

  • For those who meet the requirements for graduation this semester, the degree you have earned will be conferred on you in May of 2020. Your diploma will be sent to you once it is determined that all of the requirements for graduating from Oklahoma Wesleyan University have been completed. Conferring a Degree (meaning you have accomplished everything to graduate) and participating in a Commencement (a ceremony celebrating your graduation) are two separate items associated with graduations.
  • For the May 9 celebration, we are planning an alternative, likely virtual graduation experience for you and your families. Updates will be available at starting April 6, 2020.
  • We also invite you to participate in a special Commencement ceremony on August 22, 2020. It will not be mandatory for you to attend this ceremony, but we want to celebrate with you as soon as we possibly can gather all of the OKWU community back together again. More details will be available for this ceremony on our Bartlesville, OK campus as we get closer to that day. Please be aware that this schedule is also dependent on the nation’s recovery from COVID-19. Through all of this, your health and safety will remain our number one priority. An alternative Commencement Ceremony which you are welcome to attend will be held on December 19, 2020, if the August 22, 2020 ceremony is not feasible. Regardless of the date, we want to celebrate you and your wonderful accomplishment.
  • Be on the lookout for more detailed information from the Office of the Provost in the coming days.

It literally breaks my heart to have to change our plans for your May 2020 Commencement. I know what this means to you and your family. It means a lot to me, too. Make no mistake, however: once you complete the requirements for earning your degree, you will graduate! My hope is you will understand why we cannot hold the ceremony this May, as scheduled.

Thank you all for displaying grace and care for one another as we are adapting to an unprecedented health challenge. May you continue to experience the help of God in your coursework and lives this semester.

For the Transformation of the Whole Person so we can Transform the Whole World for Jesus Christ!


Dr. Jim Dunn
Oklahoma Wesleyan University