Preparing for Commencement Weekend

Dear Wake Forest community and anticipated Commencement guests,

We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2024 during Wake Forest’s Commencement Weekend. We want to be able to look back on this weekend fondly. To that end, we want to share our University protocols and policies for your planning purposes to ensure Commencement Weekend is safe and enjoyable for all.

The following applies to all graduates, students, faculty, staff and guests.

Clear bag policy and security check

Only clear bags may be brought into Baccalaureate, the graduate and professional school hooding and commencement ceremonies, and/or the University Commencement on Monday. Clear bags will be checked by security at the entrances.

Additionally, consistent with past practice, graduates will be wanded and required to unzip their robes before processing as part of the security process.

Prohibited items

  • Air horns or other artificial noise-makers
  • Alcohol
  • Coolers
  • Fireworks or other explosives
  • Mace/Pepper spray
  • Oversized bags (please see the clear bag policy)
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Pocket knives, firearms, or weapons of any kind
  • Signs of any kind, including signs on sticks, banners and flags
  • Tripods
  • Umbrellas
  • Wrapped gifts (gift bags that can be checked by security are allowed)

The WFU Commencement staff reserves the right to remove any item that in their judgment impedes guests’ views and/or experience or poses a safety hazard.

Vulgar, harassing, or discriminatory content

Wake Forest values free expression but will not tolerate threats, profanity, obscenity, or defamatory speech, or conduct that would violate the University’s harassment or discrimination policies, or otherwise disrupt or interfere with the spirit and dignity of the occasion. This includes inappropriate content added to clothing or mortarboards during Commencement ceremonies. Regalia and conduct guidelines are available on the Commencement website.

Political demonstrations and disruption of University events

Implemented on May 3, 2024, Wake Forest’s interim demonstration policy designates the place, time and manner of demonstrations to only the following:

Place: Designated area of Poteat Field
Time: 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Manner: No sound or amplification devices. No chalking anywhere on campus. No tents or other structures. All other University policies remain applicable.

Those who wish to demonstrate during Commencement Weekend may do so according to the above guidelines. Demonstration activity or any activity that disrupts or interferes with Commencement Weekend events will not be permitted.

We thank you for your cooperation with University efforts to make Commencement Weekend safe and enjoyable for all.

— Office of Communications and External Relations