Graduation & Commencement

Evergreen's 2024 Olympia Commencement is Friday, June 14

Celebrating the Class of 2024

June 14, 2024 at 1 pm on Red Square

Join us for the All-Campus Commencement outdoors and in-person on Red Square at the Olympia campus. This annual celebration is open to all students graduating in the 2023-24 academic year, including summer quarter.

Students may invite any number of friends and family to the ceremony; tickets are not required to attend. The ceremony takes place rain or shine, and lasts roughly three hours. Masks are welcome but not required.

You can also watch the entire ceremony online. The streaming link will be made available the week of commencement.

Instructions for Graduates

In true Greener fashion, there is no rehearsal for commencement at Evergreen. We want the ceremony to be all organic! Review this page to know what you need to do at the commencement ceremony.

Apply to Graduate and Check-in Cards

Deadline: April 15, 2024

First, Apply to Graduate for the 2023-24 academic year. Graduates who apply to graduate by April 15, 2024 will have their name printed in the commencement program.

Next, pick up your Check-in Card during Monday-Friday of commencement week. You are required to have a Check-in Card to cross the stage to receive your Evergreen diploma cover. You will be able to check in and pick up your Check-in Card at the following times:

  • June 10 - 13, 10 am - 3 pm in the Campus Activities Building
  • June 14, 9 am - 1:30 pm on Red Square

Please spell your name phonetically on your Check-in Card to assist the name reader. You must have applied to graduate for the 2023-24 academic year to receive a Check-in Card.

Graduate Program students: You can also pick up your Check-in Card through your program. Please contact your program’s Assistant Director for more information.

Academic Statement

Track your progress and achievements

Academic Statement

All undergraduate students are required to submit an Academic Statement to graduate. Your Final Academic Statement must be submitted by the last day of your final quarter. If you were admitted before Fall 2013 or you are a graduate student, you are encouraged, but not required, to submit your Academic Statement.

Processional

Map and instructions

Graduate Procession Map (PDF)

Plan to line-up on Red Square for the commencement processional at 12:15 - 12:30 pm. Don't forget to bring your check-in card with you. The processional line will form between Purce Hall and Lab I. Use the Graduate Procession Map to learn where to line-up and where you will walk as you move toward the seating area. Staff will assist you with lining up.

When the ceremony begins at 1 pm, faculty will lead the procession through the guest seating. Staff will direct the graduates to the designated seating area. Once all graduates are seated, the speakers will begin. After the speakers have concluded, graduates will be invited to cross the stage and receive their diploma covers. Graduate students cross the stage first, followed by undergraduate students.

Each row of students will be directed to rise and form a line up to the stage. Remain seated until staff direct you to line up to cross the stage. At the stage entrance, you will be directed into one of two lines. At the top of the ramp, present your card to the name reader. You'll then walk across the stage to receive your diploma cover where you will have your first photograph taken. After you receive your diploma cover, you'll get a second photo taken. Then return to your seat and cheer for your friends!

Diploma

Mailed after certification

When you cross the stage at commencement, you will receive your Evergreen diploma cover. Diplomas will be mailed to you once all your evaluations are turned in by faculty and your degree is certified, assuming all holds and charges have been reconciled. Deans will contact faculty with overdue evaluations to make sure they are turned in.

Also, your diploma and academic record will correctly reflect your bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or bachelor of arts and sciences, regardless of how it may be listed in the commencement program.

Accessibility

Request accommodations by June 11

Chairs are set aside for disabled and elderly seating in the seating area designated for graduates. If you cannot stand for the time period of 12:15 - 1 pm while graduates are assembling for the procession, there is seating reserved in the lower left corner of general seating for you. You can remain seated there until it is time for your program to process in, then join the processional.

If you cannot stand while you are waiting to walk across the stage, there will be chairs set up by the ramp entrance for you. The stage ramps are in compliance with ADA regulations. The stage is accessible to wheelchair users and others with accessibility needs.

Review the Student & Guest Accessibility section for additional services or to request accommodations.

Commemorate the Event

Opportunities to celebrate and connect.

Regalia and Greener Gear

Visit the Greener Bookstore

Greener Bookstore

Come to the Greener Bookstore for graduation regalia, announcements, snacks, Greener gear, gifts, and more! Orders can be placed online for pick up in the store at the Olympia campus, pick up at the Tacoma campus, or shipped directly to you. You can also just stop by on commencement day.

A cap and gown are not required, but many graduates proudly don a traditional cap and gown as part of their regalia. Feel free to get festive and make it your own! Evergreen’s graduation is well-known for creative garb!

Cap Decorating

Learn about becoming an alumni

Graduating seniors can decorate their caps for free with the Alumni Programs Office to celebrate their accomplishments and learn more about joining the Evergreen alumni community. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Can't stay long? Don't worry, to-go bags will be available!

Events are being planned for both Olympia and Tacoma campuses.

Ceremony Photos

Preregister and order online

Order Graduation Ceremony Photos
Preregister for Graduation Ceremony Photos*

A professional photographer will take photos of each graduate at two points on the stage, and after they cross the stage. Please avoid taking pictures near the stage exit ramp, as this blocks the views for people seated near that area. You can Order Graduation Photos online after the ceremony.

*Preregister for Graduation Ceremony Photos before June 14 to receive 20% off a photo purchase of $50 or more. In the GradImages site, type "Evergreen State College" in the School Name box to find Evergreen.

Class Gift

Donate to the Student Emergency Fund

Graduating Class Gift

The Class of 2024 voted to direct donations to the Student Emergency Fund as their official Graduating Class Gift. The Student Emergency Fund provides year-round micro-grants to students facing urgent financial crises. Honor our amazing graduates, their achievements, and support future Greeners today. Every donation matters—by coming together, we make a big difference. Join the Class of 2024 today to make a meaningful gift and cheer on our incredible graduates!

Be a Greener Wherever You Go

Evergreen license plates

Evergreen License Plate

Scholarship funding is provided in part by custom Evergreen license plates. The newest design is available now on our Alumni page.

Visiting Campus
Information for Guests

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visitors on campus for commencement

Food and drinks will be available for purchase on Red Square and in the adjacent College Activities Building. Those who wish to sit inside may watch the ceremony broadcast in classrooms and lecture halls inside Purce Hall.

A professional photographer will take photos of each graduate at two points on the stage and after they cross the stage. Please avoid taking pictures near the stage exit ramp, as this blocks the views for people seated near that area.

We ask that the audience remain seated until the procession has concluded. The last person recognized deserves the same support, respect, and celebration as the first. Your presence is part of the graduation experience for all. Graduates, family members and friends will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Parking

Campus map and free parking

Evergreen Olympia Campus Graduation Parking Map (PDF)

Visitors may park in B or C lots. If B and C lots are filled, parking is available in F lot. Follow the marked paths to make your way to Red Square for the ceremony. Parking for attendees with disabilities is available in B, C and F lots.

  • Two shuttle vans will operate from F Lot to Red Square from 11 am - 1 pm. Shuttles will take people back to F Lot from 3 - 5 pm. Shuttle drop-off and pick-up will be located between the House of Welcome and Seminar I.

Parking is free at Evergreen's Olympia Campus on the following days and times:

  • June 11 - 13, 4 - 9 pm
  • June 14, 7 am - 9 pm

Exiting Campus

After the ceremony

A professional traffic control company will ensure a smooth exit from all parking lots. Please follow the directions of the uniformed personnel. To help speed everyone’s departure, Evergreen Parkway will be closed briefly at the end of the ceremony to prioritize exiting traffic as follows:

B Lot will exit via the Parkway going southbound only. Traffic will not be allowed to enter the roundabout to go north on the Parkway.

C Lot will exit via what are normally the entrance lanes and proceed northbound on the Parkway. Signs will direct drivers to Highway 101 and Olympia City Center via Kaiser Road or Cooper Point Road.

When guests exiting overflow parking or F Lot reach the intersection of Driftwood Road and the Parkway, right turns will not be permitted. Flaggers will alternate traffic to proceed straight ahead onto Kaiser Road or turn left onto the Parkway. Signs will direct drivers to Highway 101 and Olympia City Center via Kaiser Road or Cooper Point Road.

Notice for Saturday, June 15

SPSCC commencement ceremony

If you live near campus or plan to come to campus on Saturday, note that Evergreen is hosting South Puget Sound Community College's commencement ceremony on Red Square on Saturday, June 15, starting at 10 am. Their ceremony will conclude between Noon and 1 pm - the same road closures and traffic control will be in effect.

Parking is free all day on Saturday, June 15.

Student & Guest
Accessibility

Request Accommodations by Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Evergreen State College is committed to providing access and accommodation in its services, programs, and activities. To make a request connected to a disability or health condition not addressed by our current accommodations, please contact the Graduation Office at (360) 688-8245 or GraduationOffice@evergreen.edu.

ADA Features Campus Map (PNG)

Disabled Parking

Parking spots and shuttle times

Disabled parking is available in areas of the main parking lots (B and C) closest to Red Square, as well as F lot. Two shuttle vans will operate from F Lot to Red Square from 11 am - 1 pm. Shuttles will take people back to F Lot from 3 - 5 pm. Shuttle drop-off and pick-up will be located between the House of Welcome and Seminar I.

Drop-off Near the Event

Directions and ramp

Entering McCann Plaza, continue straight past the parking booth and the entrances to the parking lots. Enter the loop separated by a stand of trees and stop near the Native American Welcome Woman statue. For those using a wheelchair, there is a car ramp just before the bus stop. Evergreen staff are available to show you to seating set aside for elderly and disabled guests.

Accessible Seating

For disabled and elderly

Chairs are set aside for disabled and elderly seating outdoors. This accessible seating will be dispersed throughout the guest seating area. If you need assistance please see an usher. Those who wish to sit inside may watch the ceremony broadcast in the classrooms and lecture halls in Purce Hall.

Hearing Assistance

Available at the Media tent

Hearing assisted devices are available at the Media tent in the center of Red Square, which is labeled with a hearing assistance device sign. Please see an event staff member or visit the Media tent to request a hearing assisted device.

Wheelchair Rental

Contact information

Wheelchairs can be rented at a discounted rate of $25 plus tax for commencement weekend from Bellevue Healthcare in Lacey. Be sure to reference Evergreen's commencement in order to receive the June 13 - 17 special rate.

Bellevue Healthcare
4500 Pacific Ave SE Suite A
Lacey, WA 98503

Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
Phone: 360-438-2955
www.bellevuehealthcare.com

graduate programs and Tacoma
Additional Celebrations and Ceremonies

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
5:30 - 8:30 pm

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Thursday, June 13th, 2024
6:30 - 8 pm

Master in Teaching (MiT)

Friday, June 14th, 2024
10 am - 12 noon

BLISS Graduation

June 11, 2023

Tuesday, June 11th, 2023
The House of Welcome

BLISS Graduation celebrates and honors graduates who identify with the LGBTQQIAA+ community as well as those who identify with minioritized ethnic and racial identities in a culturally relevant way.

Native Pathways Program Graduation Celebration

June 15, 2024

Saturday, June 15th, 2024
The House of Welcome

The Native Pathways Program recognizes and celebrates the academic and personal success of their graduating students.

Tacoma Graduation

June 15, 2024

Saturday, June 15, 2024
Tacoma Program Campus

Tacoma honors and celebrates the undergraduate and Master of Public Administration Tacoma students who worked diligently to obtain their degrees.

Veterans Celebration

Paths of Study Celebration of Graduates

Join faculty to celebrate and see examples of student work from across Evergreen’s interdisciplinary curriculum.

Evening and Weekend Studies Celebration

Traditions with Meaning
Graduation Symbolism

Ceremonial Mace

Principles of knowledge and experience

Originally a weapon used in medieval warfare by a king or great noble, the mace has become a ceremonial symbol. Use of the mace as an academic device dates back to 16th-century England, when Queen Elizabeth I presented a replica of her own royal mace to the corporation of the University of Oxford. She ordered that it be used in all ceremonies to represent the royal presence and the authority granted to the university to issue degrees under the royal insignia. Since that time, colleges and universities have adopted the custom of using a ceremonial mace during graduation exercises.

The Evergreen State College’s mace is a gift from the late Byron Youtz, former academic vice president and provost, who donated the materials, and faculty member emeritus Earle McNeil, who gave his time and talent to create it.

The crown of the mace represents the principles of knowledge and experience. To remind us that such integration is a carefully balanced blend of diverse aspects of human nature, there are four inlaid circles symbolizing major ways of experiencing the world—thinking, feeling, intuiting and sensing— and four main characteristics of the human mind—wisdom, innocence, introspection and illumination.

College Medallion

Mt. Rainier, an evergreen tree and the sea

The original college medallion was designed for founding president Charles McCann’s inauguration, which he later donated to Library archives. The medallion worn by the current college president was designed in 1994 by Joyce Attwood. It is fabricated of silver, copper, brass, gold and acrylic, featuring a moon-stone from Nepal, paua shell from New Zealand and turquoise, and is suspended on a chain from Thailand. The medallion design shows an evergreen tree with Mt. Rainier and the sea in the background.

Alma Mater

College motto

Omnia Extares, Omnia Extares Alma Mater, Evergreen Omnia Extares.

Speedy the Geoduck

College mascot

Founders of the college wanted a mascot that epitomized the difference between traditional schools and Evergreen’s innovative ideas. It had to be the opposite of typically snarling, fierce or aggressive mascots.

They chose the geoduck, the world’s largest burrowing clam, which lives on the shorelines of our beautiful Puget Sound and Evergreen's beach. The word geoduck derives from the Lushootseed gwideq, meaning “to dig deep.”

Geoduck Fight Song

Let it all hang out

Go, Geoducks go,
Through the mud and the sand, let’s go.
Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about,
let it all hang out.
Go, Geoducks go,
Stretch your neck when the tide is low,
Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about,
let it all hang out.

Academic Regalia

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Speedy and graduates

The origins of academic dress date back to the 12th and 13th centuries when universities were taking form. The ordinary dress of the scholar, whether student or teacher, was the dress of a cleric. Long gowns and hoods were worn and may have been necessary for warmth in unheated buildings. Today, many institutions choose distinctively colored gowns. The design of the sleeve indicates the level of the degree earned by the wearer. Hoods have both the colors of the institution and a band indicating the academic discipline in which the degree was earned.

Native Pathways Program

Program students are wearing tribal, Indigenous or culturally significant regalia representative of their ancestors, lands and communities.

Tacoma Program

Tacoma graduates are wearing stoles made from Kente cloth, a type of woven silk and cotton fabric native to the Ashanti people (Ghana). Kente cloth, worn only in times of extreme importance, is a key symbol of African cultural heritage.

Evergreen Masters

Each master’s degree program graduate wears a hood edged in a distinctive color. Pale blue marks a Master in Teaching; brilliant gold signifies a Master of Environmental Studies; and deep turquoise indicates a Master of Public Administration. Master of Public Administration Tribal Governance graduates are wearing regalia that are representative of their tribe.

Evening and Weekend Studies

Students and faculty wearing black, green and white stoles accented with a moon and sun represent Evening and Weekend Studies. They honor the nights and weekends graduates spent earning their degrees while working day jobs and supporting families.

Questions?
Contact Us

Find the best team to answer your questions. 

Graduation

Graduation refers to receiving a degree once Evergreen certifies you have finished and completely fulfilled all Degree Requirements.

If you have questions about how to Apply to Graduate, your diploma or transcript, or need confirmation of your degree for graduate school or work, send an email to Registration and Records at registration@evergreen.edu

Commencement

Commencement is the symbolic ceremony marking the closing of your academic career where you receive commendation for your hard work at Evergreen. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends and the Evergreen community to celebrate your accomplishments.

For questions about the All-Campus Commencement ceremony, email the Graduation Office at graduationoffice@evergreen.edu.