University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu

Commencement Information for Graduates

Fall 2016 Commencement
Saturday, December 10, 2016 9:00 am UH West O‘ahu Campus Lower Courtyard
*VIP, Faculty and Candidates Reception 7:30 – 8:30 am in Multi-Purpose Room (C208)

View the recording of the full Fall 2016 commencement ceremony now.

Commencement Rehearsal
Friday, December 9, 2016 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in Campus Center C225

Please note that the commencement ceremony is separate from the actual degree certification and conferral.  Participation in a commencement ceremony and/or inclusion in the commencement program does not indicate official graduation or degree conferral.

Fall 2016 Commencement RSVP

  • A graduation confirmation letter along with the Fall 2016 Commencement RSVP Form will be mailed to your address on file the week of October 24, 2016.
  • Submit the Fall 2016 Commencement RSVP Form to the Academic Advising Office (C236) by November 10, 2016 to confirm your participation in the O`ahu or Neighbor Island ceremony.  **Neighbor Island ceremonies are ONCE a year, at conclusion of spring semester. 
  • To ensure proper pronunciation of your name, please review the Pronunciation Instructions and provide the proper phonetic spelling for your name.  
  • Candidates needing disability accommodations, please include the information in your Commencement RSVP. 

Commencement Rehearsal

  • Friday, December 9, 2016 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in Room C225
  • All participants are STRONGLY encouraged to attend.
  • Participants are highly recommended to wear footwear intended to be worn at ceremony.


  • Graduation announcements are available for purchase at The UH West O‘ahu Bookstore and can be personalized with your name and degree/certificate.
  • Students who would like to order announcements may visit The UH West O‘ahu Bookstore or contact them at 808-689-2550 for online ordering information. 


Commencement regalia is available at The UH West O‘ahu Bookstore, 808-689-2550 or online at

  • The full graduation gown set is $41.00. The black cap, gown and tassel are included in the set and each is required for the commencement ceremony.  If you already have a black cap and gown, the tassel can be purchased separately for $7. Cap only is $13.00.
  • Black caps, gowns and tassels are required to be worn by all graduates.  Wear lightweight attire under your gown.  Whatever shows above/below the gown should conform to the following:
    • MEN should wear collared shirts (short sleeves are acceptable), dark trousers, and closed shoes.
    • WOMEN should wear dresses or dress slacks and sandals or shoes.  Mu`umu`u are not recommended.  The graduation gowns for women include white collars which may be omitted.
    • Jeans, shorts, t-shirts and slippers are not considered appropriate attire.

Before Arrival

  • You must wear your cap and gown in order to participate in the ceremony. 
  • Tassels on your caps should hang on the right of your cap until after the symbolic conferring of degrees. 
  • The front of the cap, which has the shorter point, should be centered directly over your nose. 
  • The cap should be worn squarely on the top of the head. 
  • Please refrain from decorating your caps with any items that may obstruct the view of your fellow candidates seated around you.

NOTE:  Large bags (purses, backpacks, etc.) placards or signage, beach balls, and pets (excluding service animals) will not be allowed on the ceremony area.  Plan to have your guests keep your personal belongings until after the ceremony.

NOTE to PARENTS:  Children (including infants) will not be allowed to accompany graduates in the ceremony.  Please plan to have your guests watch your children during the ceremony.


Please limit your guests to six (6) individuals.  Guests may arrive at 8:00 am.

We strongly recommend that your guests arrive early, as the area will be sectioned off once we reach maximum capacity. If you have guests who need special accommodations, please contact Student Affairs at (808) 689-2689 by November 10, 2016.

NOTE:  Balloons and strollers are not allowed into the seating area for safety reasons.  Also, advise your guests that photographs and videos may be taken from their seats only.


Parking is limited and will be on a first come, first served basis. The parking lot will be closed once it reaches full capacity. Carpooling is highly encouraged. Plan to arrive early as there will be considerable congestion along the Farrington Highway entrance to the campus. Those needing disability parking are especially encouraged to arrive early.


Commencement Ceremony Reception – for our Invited VIP, Faculty, and Candidates for Graduation; hosted by the UHWO Student Activity Fee Board from 7:30 am – 8:30 am. 

  • At the 7:30 am Check-in you’ll receive an index card with your division, concentration and name (with phonetic spelling).  Please look this over and let the staff know if there are any discrepancies. 
  • Promptly at 8:30 am, the candidates and faculty will begin arranging themselves by their divisions (with assistance from the student marshals and staff) to prepare for the processional.

NOTE:  Traditionally, flower lei are not presented or worn until after the ceremony.  No balloons and signs/banners are allowed into the courtyard area.


  • The procession begins promptly at 9:00 am, under the direction of the faculty and student marshals.
  • Caps should be worn at all times except during the playing of Hawaii Pono’i and the National Anthem, when men should remove their caps.
  • Rise with your division when instructed to do so by your divisional chair.  Student Marshals will direct candidates to the stage.
  • Present your printed index card to the name reader as you cross the stage.  As your name is read, move to the stage center to receive your diploma cover and congratulations, exit the stage and return to your original seat and be seated.
  • When all candidates have returned to their original seats, the Vice Chancellor will direct you to shift your tassels to the left as a symbol of graduation, then present the class to the Chancellor, who will instruct you to be seated.

NOTE:  Please honor your fellow candidates, who have also worked hard for this moment, by treating them with dignity and respect.

After the Ceremony

  • Meet your guests by the appropriate alphabetical sign on the Great Lawn and Central Plaza.
  • We recommend that you consider meeting guests with physical disabilities at a location closer to the Campus Center. 
  • Please do not block the walkway next to the rock wall and Great Lawn.


Audience members can take photographs from their seats only. A photograph of each candidate receiving his/her diploma will be taken by Picture Man of Hawaii.  To view and order your graduation diploma and posed portrait, go to, select our ceremony, and register to get your proofs online and by mail.

After commencement, you will receive an email message from the photographer with a link to view your proof online.  You may order additional photographs at that time. 

The University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu (UHWO) reserves the right to photograph/videotape participants and guests at commencement for purposes of publicizing the University's programs or for any other lawful purpose, including the right to print, publish, broadcast, and use as appropriate for public information without additional consideration or compensation. All photographs/videos become the property of UHWO. Many of the photographs taken that day will be added to the UHWO Flickr site.

Lei Vendors

Vendors selling flower lei will be on campus during the commencement ceremonies.  The vendors will be located on the grass area in front of the Dining Commons.

If you would like to be an on-campus Lei vendor during Commencement, please submit a written proposal along with a copy of your HI State General Excise Tax License and W-9 Form. You must be able to provide adequate inventory and sell fresh flower lei from 7:30 am - 9:30 am on Saturday, December 10, 2016. We expect approximately 200 graduates and 2500 guests at the event. 
Proposals should be submitted via email, to UH West O‘ahu Event Planner, Lynn Reyes, at by 12:00 pm on Thursday, November 10, 2016. If selected, you will be notified by return email and a Certificate of Insurance will be required.


Candidates who meet the criteria for Graduation with Distinction (current 3.75 UH West O`ahu GPA and on track for completion of 30 UH West O`ahu credits) will be recognized during the ceremony.  Your designation at the time of the ceremony is based upon the previous semester’s grades. Any change in the designation based upon this semester’s grades will be reflected on your transcripts and diploma. To see if you might be eligible, visit  Click on transcripts, then campus transcripts by semester. You may purchase your honor cord for $13.00 through The UH West O‘ahu Bookstore. 

Student Veteran Honor Cord

UH West Oahu Student Veterans may purchase red, white, and blue honor cords from the UH West Oahu Bookstore for $13.

Who: Veterans, active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members may purchase an honor cord to wear at the Commencement Ceremony.

Why: Honor cords represent the sacrifice, service and commitment to excellence that all veterans share.

How: Bring proof of veteran status (DD214), VA ID card, or military ID.


Diplomas will not be given at commencement.  Because semester records will not be available by the date of commencement, the conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional, pending verification that degree requirements have been met. 

Diplomas will be available approximately 10 weeks after commencement (Fall – end of February / Spring – beginning of July).  Students on O`ahu may pick up their diplomas at the Office of the Registrar and will be required to show a valid photo ID. 

Students who will no longer reside on O`ahu after graduation should provide the Office of the Registrar with their updated mailing address so their diploma may be mailed.  Diplomas are mailed via the U.S. Postal Service.  All financial obligations within the UH system must be cleared before a diploma can be released.


Got Commencement Questions? Please contact the Commencement Coordinator by phone at 689-2689 or by email at