Wabash College will celebrate the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 in its 183rd Commencement Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, in the new Little Giant Stadium in Crawfordsville. The ceremony will be streamed live at www.wabash.edu/live.
Currently, 178 students in the Class of 2021 are scheduled to receive their diplomas, while 98 members of the Class of 2020 will be in attendance to be honored as well.
The graduates will be seated at safe physical distances on the football field and a limited number of registered, ticketed guests will be seated in the new stadium grandstand. All graduates, ceremony participants, and guests will be required to wear masks while at the ceremony.
This year’s ceremony breaks with tradition on a number of fronts. It will be held on Saturday (instead of Sunday) for the first time since before World War II, and it will be held in the stadium instead of the College Mall to provide for physical distancing. The Class of 2020 will also go down in history as the only class to graduate twice – they were honored in a virtual ceremony a year ago.
In keeping with tradition, only members of the graduating class will speak. The Class of 2020 Commencement Speakers are Nathan Gray, who is in law school at Duke University, and Marcus Torres, who is teaching in Florida with the Teach for America program. The Class of 2021 Commencement Speakers are Paul Haesemeyer and Malcolm Lang.
Honorary doctorates will be awarded to Emeritus Professor of Political Science Melissa Ann Butler H’85 and Dr. Gregory D. Hess, who served as the 16th President of Wabash from 2013 to 2020.
Twenty-four students were inducted into the Wabash chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honorary society. This year’s inductees are seniors Samuel Anderson (Indianapolis), Joel Bailey (Indianapolis), Patrick Carper (Indianapolis), Praise Chukwumalu Chukwuma (Crawfordsville, Indiana), Anthony Cicciarelli (Brownsburg, Indiana), Maximilian Cobos (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), Daniel Cuevas (Hammond, Indiana), William Harvey (Carmel, Indiana), Patrick Kelly (Valparaiso, Indiana), Cameron Martin (Pittsboro, Indiana), Mason Simmons (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), Wesley Slaughter (Chesterton, Indiana), Brenton Strahla (Indianapolis), and Pete Trotter (Columbus, Indiana); and juniors Dakota Baker (Crawfordsville, Indiana), Kevin Ballard-Munn (Creve Coeur, Illinois), Adam Berg (Tacoma, Washington), Drew Bluethmann (Greenfield, Indiana), Henry Egan (Indianapolis), Wade Haesemeyer (Billings, Montana), Andrew Jamison (Pendleton, Indiana), Joseph Julian (Mt. Vernon, Indiana), Andrew Rippy (St. Paul, Minnesota), and Devin Vanyo (New Franklin, Ohio).
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, President Feller will lead the Class of 2021 and former President Hess will lead the Class of 2020 out of the stadium, through the Senior Arch, and to the steps of the Allen Center where both classes will sing “Old Wabash.”
In addition, the Senior Art Exhibition will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Eric Dean Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibition features the work of senior art majors Casey Akers, Riley Brennan, Josh Garcia, Ryan Hahn, Cesar Martinez, and Sam Wise.
A Commencement Podcast
This week’s edition of the “Wabash On My Mind” podcast features 2021 Commencement speakers Paul Haesemeyer and Malcolm Lang. Topics include their Wabash experiences, favorite memories, and preparing for the speeches. Just click the red play button inside the graphic to enjoy the conversation.
Because the combined ceremony must be held outside, attendees should plan for any/all weather conditions and are encouraged to bring sunscreen and rain ponchos. Short of torrential downpours or lightning, the ceremony will take place outside on Saturday. The schedule for the ceremony follows:
Saturday, May 15
10:30 a.m. EDT
183rd Commencement Ceremony in Little Giant Stadium
- Class of 2020 will be seated on the west side of the 40-yard-line
- Class of 2021 will be seated on the east side of the 40-yard-line
- Invocation by Dr. Derek Nelson
- Welcome by President Scott Feller
- 2020 Commencement Speakers Nathan Gray and Marcus Torres
- 2021 Commencement Speakers Paul Haesemeyer and Malcolm Lang
- Singing of Alma Mater led by Glee Club quartet
- President Feller presents Honorary Degrees
- Graduation of the Class of 2020 – greeted by Presidents Feller and Hess
- Graduation of the Class of 2021 – diplomas handed from President Feller
- Classes of 2020 and 2021 rise and are rung out by President Feller
- Singing of Old Wabash led by Glee Club quartet
- Benediction by Dr. Derek Nelson
- President Feller leads 2021 and Former President Hess leads 2020 (side-by-side) out of the stadium, through the Arch, to the Allen Center steps.
Other Useful Information:
Alternate Starting Times: In the case of storms in the area, we have set four alternate times on Saturday when the ceremony could begin. In the event of a later start time, GRADUATES will receive an email with instructions, which they should communicate to their guests:
- Noon — Academic Processional forms at 11:30 a.m.
- 2:30 p.m. — Academic Processional forms at 2:00 p.m.
- 4 p.m. — Academic Processional forms at 3:30 p.m.
Livestream Broadcast and Photos: The 183rd Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast via livestream at www.wabash.edu/live. Photos of each graduate crossing the stage will be taken by the Communications and Marketing staff and will be sent to the graduates within a few weeks. Guests are not permitted to take photos or video from the track or football field.
Tickets: Each graduate is permitted up to four guests and each will need an e-ticket to gain entry to the stadium from Jennison Street. Tickets will be emailed to the addresses provided by each graduate and will be sent from email@example.com
- Class of 2020 tickets will be emailed by end of business on Friday, May 7.
- Class of 2021 tickets will be emailed by the end of business on Monday, May 10.
- There will be two emails sent to registered student guests: the first will be confirmation of account creation if they have never used University Tickets before – this email can be ignored. The second email will contain ticket information with the subject “Wabash College | Athletics Ticketing Receipt (transaction code).”
- Opening the second email, tickets can be accessed one of two ways, by clicking “Download E-Tickets” or “View Mobile Tickets.”
- Tickets will be scanned prior to entry. They can either be printed out or displayed on a cellphone.
- Guests must remain in the grandstand throughout the ceremony.
COVID Precautions: Seating for graduates will be spread out on the field at Little Giant Stadium. Graduates must wear a mask throughout the ceremony except when they cross the stage as their names are read. Guests are required to wear masks while seated in Little Giant Stadium. There is ample room for guests to spread out from other families.
Parking: There will be parking in various lots around campus, as well as in the large grass fields south of Jennison Street at Mud Hollow.
Weather: Short of torrential downpours or lightning, the ceremony will take place outside on Saturday. Guests are asked to dress appropriately and to bring sunscreen, bottled water, and rain ponchos.
Sunday Schedule, if necessary: If severe weather postpones all possible starting times on Saturday, a decision about whether to hold the joint ceremony outside at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning or split the classes to move inside will be made no later than 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 16. This information will be communicated to graduates via email.
Sunday, May 16, if necessary
10:30 a.m. EDT
Commencement Ceremony for 2020 and 2021 in Little Giant Stadium
The academic processional will format 10 a.m. on the mall road (2021 on the east side near Baxter and 2020 on the west side near Sparks)
If storms persist Sunday and the ceremony can’t be outside, there will be separate ceremonies for the two classes in Chadwick Court at the following times:
Commencement Ceremony for 2020 at Chadwick Court
The academic processional will form at 11:30 a.m. in Knowling Fieldhouse
Commencement Ceremony for 2021 at Chadwick Court
The academic processional will form at 2:30 p.m. in Knowling Fieldhouse