WFU Commencement: Media arrangements

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham will deliver Wake Forest University’s commencement address on Monday, May 15 to nearly 1,900 graduates. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Hearn Plaza.

Kathy “Killian” Noe (’80), founder of the Recovery Café in Seattle, Wash., will deliver the baccalaureate address on Sunday, May 14. The baccalaureate ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in Wait Chapel.

More details on commencement and baccalaureate speakers are available here.

Members of the media are invited to attend Wake Forest University’s commencement ceremony. Commencement is a private, ticketed event and is not open to the public. Parking passes will be required to enter campus. All members of the media are also asked to carry their own media credentials. Morning television crews may arrive as early as 5 a.m.

The livestream will be available at

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS: Vivian Howard, television personality and head chef and co-owner of the restaurant Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, N.C., will be awarded an honorary degree during the commencement ceremony. Six others will receive honorary degrees: Anil Rai Gupta, Killian Noe, Jon Meacham, Bryan Stevenson, Dr. Regina Benjamin and Dr. John Edward Sexton.

The event is not open to the public and parking passes will be required to enter campus. All members of the media are also asked to carry their own media credentials. Morning television crews may arrive as early as 5 a.m.

Media must enter campus through the Reynolda Road entrance. Here’s a link to a campus map and directions to campus. Because of heavy traffic, all members of the media are encouraged to allow plenty of time to park and set up on Hearn Plaza.

Reserved parking for television live trucks and satellite trucks only will be in Parking Lot B, located between Taylor and Davis residence halls on the Reynolda Road (west) side of campus.
Reserved parking for all other media will be on Davis Field, near Scales Fine Arts Center. Members of the media are encouraged to enter Hearn Plaza through the access point (under the arch) from Parking Lot B and will need their media passes. Someone from the Office of Communications and External Relations will greet media at the entrance and direct them to reserved seating.

To access Wake Forest wireless, launch the wireless connection software on your computer to find and connect to the WFUmydevices network. The WFUmydevices wireless network connection has open authentication and no encryption. Open any web browser, type and press enter to be redirected to the “Wake Forest University Visitor Wireless Network” webpage. Input the WFUmydevices username and password that is provided below:

Username: WFUGrad
Password: GoDeacs1

Social media:
The commencement hashtag is #WFUGrad and the official Wake Forest Twitter account is @wakeforest, Instagram is wfuniversity and Facebook is wfuniversity.

Reserved media seating for reporters and still photographers will be in the front row. Direct audio feeds and power outlets will be provided. One platform will be available for TV cameras (approx. 170 ft. from the stage). Though there is plenty of media seating available, it will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Recording (video and audio) and still photography: There are no restrictions.

Inclement weather plan:
In case of inclement weather, the commencement ceremony will be moved to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (2825 University Parkway) and begin at 9:30 a.m. Media will be notified by early morning May 15 if the inclement weather plan is put into effect. More information regarding media arrangements for the inclement weather plan will be distributed as needed. Scheduled live shots will be moved to the Coliseum.