Graduation Information

Congratulations 2016 Graduates!

Download the updated 2016 Commencement PROGRAM

See the 2016 Commencement Program Online Flipbook


SPRING AND SUMMER 2016 Graduates:

Please be mindful of >>critical deadlines<<  pertaining to graduation. Information is sent to your Western email early in the semester. Missing applicable deadlines may have an adverse impact on the conferral of your degree and/or your eligibility to participate in spring commencement activities.  Any questions or concerns should be directed to Alysse Johnston, in the Office of the Registrar or by calling 970.943.7007.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation is not automatic, it is a process.  To best assist students in their progress towards receiving a degree, all students must complete an Intent to Graduate form when they are enrolled in their 89th credit hour (as a second semester Junior/first semester Senior).  When submitting a request for an audit, remember:

  • Major, Minor, and General Education required coursework must be from the same catalog year.  A student may not work from multiple catalogs.  Students may only work from catalog years of which they had attendance, keeping in mind that catalogs expire after six years.
  • Students may elect to ‘update’ their catalog should newer curriculum better fit courses they’ve taken, degree plans, etc.  (Again major, minor, and GE must all be updated.)
  • Advisor(s) must verify, then submit students' requests for an audit (Intent to Graduate Form) to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students with more than one major must have an advisor from each major sign their audit request.
  • Any incomplete requests received will not be reviewed until all of the necessary information is provided.
  • Once a Degree Audit has been initially reviewed, it is expected that the student visit with their advisor to review the evaluation and plan their final semester(s) accordingly.

Finally, during the first two weeks of a pending graduate’s final semester, he/she must submit a Graduation Application through MyWestern under Student Records.  This step is critical for graduation.  Up until a student completes this step, he/she has not indicated any specified intention of finishing his/her degree.

Four-Year Graduation Plan

Interested in graduating in four years? Western has a plan for you! Click here for a detailed plan that will get you out the door in four.

Commencement 2016

Our next commencement will be held on May 7, 2016. When planning ahead, guests are encouraged to explore the commencement FAQs as they make preparations to visit the Gunnison valley to attend the celebration.  On the Friday evening prior to graduation, a senior reception will be held in the University Center.  This event is an opportunity for Western State Colorado University to recognize graduates for their achievements and provides family and friends a chance to mingle with faculty and staff.

More 2016 Commencement Ceremony Details...

Western’s longest-tenured professor
to deliver commencement address

GUNNISON, Colo. – Renowned Gunnison Country historian and Western’s longest-tenured faculty member, Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, will deliver an address at Western’s 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 7.

Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, Western&#039;s Longest-Tenured Professor

Vandenbusche, who has taught history at Western since 1962 and served many years as the Mountaineers’ head cross country coach, will deliver his commencement speech before thousands of family members and hundreds of students earning their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Western President Dr. Greg Salsbury says Vandenbusche represents the continued dedication to education and the Western lifestyle that exemplifies the journey of many Western students.

“Dr. Vandenbusche is an institutional staple. It’s almost impossible to attend Western and not know his name,” Salsbury says. “His commitment to furthering the development of Mountaineers as a coach and a professor is a testament to his commitment to this university. We’re honored to have him address our students during the Spring Commencement.”

Annie Westbury will present the student commencement address. Westbury will receive her degree in Recreation & Outdoor Education. She also minored in Business Administration during her academic career at Western.

Western’s Spring Commencement Ceremony will feature 337 graduates; 289 will receive their bachelor’s degrees and 48 will receive graduate degrees. Students hail from 32 different states and five foreign countries.

Duane Vandenbusche to deliver 2016 Commencement Address

Dr. Paul Edwards, professor of Communication Arts and chair of the Communications Arts, Languages and Literature Department, who has taught at Western for 29 years, will serve as the Faculty Marshal. He will be accompanied by Assistant Marshals Dr. Al Caniff, professor of Art; [Please note editorial correction: Dr. Heather Orr is the Chairman of the Department of Art] and Dr. Kathleen Kinkema, professor of Exercise & Sports Science and associate vice president of Academic Affairs. Western students Alejandro Alejandre, Amanda Campbell and Madison Manning and will service as Junior Marshals.

Commencement will take place rain or shine on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. in the Mountaineer Bowl on Western’s campus. The ceremony will also be broadcast in the University Center theater and at Mad Jack’s café. A link to a live stream of the ceremony will be available on Western’s homepage on the morning of the event.

For more information, visit

About Western State Colorado University:

The first college on Colorado’s Western slope and the fourth oldest public college in the state, Western State Colorado University in Gunnison delivers a full, four-year, liberal arts curriculum with graduate programs.