The legendary NWU arch juxtaposed by green trees and blue sky.
Commencement 2024

Maps and Parking

All campus parking lots are available for commencement parking. Street parking is also available; however, parking will NOT be permitted on Madison Avenue between 50th and 56th Streets, or Baldwin Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Parking attendants will be available to help direct traffic, and complimentary golf cart shuttles will run from designated lots throughout campus to aid guests as needed. Handicapped parking is available in the lot located directly to the south of the Story Student Center; please enter at 53rd and Madison and proceed past Centennial Hall.

You may download the Commencement and Final Walk map to see all available parking options and shuttle locations.

Please be alert when walking to campus, as traffic may be heavier than normal on neighborhood streets.

Contact or visit us

Nebraska Wesleyan University
5000 Saint Paul Avenue
Lincoln, NE 68504
(402) 466-2371
commencement2024 [at] practicallyspeakingmd.com (commencement2024[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Commencement 2024

 

Commencement for the Class of 2024 is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. in Abel Stadium. Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will last approximately two hours, and will be held rain or shine.

A live webstream of the commencement ceremony will be available on this webpage for those unable to attend.

Please continue to check this webpage for schedule updates.

Commencement Day Schedule

8:15 a.m.

Graduates and faculty line up for Final Walk in Knight Fieldhouse

8:40 a.m.Final Walk through campus
9 a.m.Baccalaureate service at First United Methodist Church
9:45 a.m.Graduates line up for Commencement in Snyder Arena. The schedule allows plenty of time for graduates to attend Baccalaureate before lining up for commencement.
11 a.m.Commencement ceremony in Abel Stadium
1 p.m.Graduates pick up diplomas and alumni gift in Great Hall, Smith-Curtis
1 p.m.Refreshments for guests and graduates on Taylor Commons

48th Street Construction 

North 48th Street is under construction through mid-May between Leighton Avenue and Adams Street to update infrastructure and improve the driving surface. During construction, one lane of traffic will remain open in each direction north-south. 

  • Northbound commencement traffic: You may turn east from 48th Street toward campus at these intersections: Walker, Huntington, Baldwin, St. Paul, Madison and Cleveland.
  • Southbound commencement traffic: Please turn east from 48th Street at Adams or Leighton. 

Be aware that construction may cause delays getting to and from NWU on May 4, and create a heavier traffic flow on side streets. As a reminder, 50th Street is not a through street on the west edge of campus. Please plan extra time to and from your destination. Be sure to slow down and look twice at all intersections. 

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and flexibility as we gather to celebrate Commencement on May 4.

Final Walk

A tradition at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the final walk across campus symbolizes the culmination of a graduate’s years of learning and living at NWU. Just as they did to begin their academic careers, during the final walk graduates will pass under one of Nebraska Wesleyan’s famous arches—the symbol of the university.

Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church located at 50th Street and Saint Paul Avenue. Baccalaureate services are a tradition at Nebraska Wesleyan as part of our relationship with the United Methodist Church. All graduates are invited to participate in the services but are not required to attend.

All participating graduates and faculty members should be dressed in caps and gowns or regalia and begin assembling in Knight Field House by 8:15 a.m.

Outdoor Commencement

Unless severe weather is predicted, the commencement ceremony will be held outdoors, so we encourage guests to dress accordingly. If the weather is cool, a light jacket or blanket may be appropriate. If the weather is warm, sunglasses, sunscreen and hats are recommended. Guests are also encouraged to bring reusable water bottles. Free water filling stations will be located on the lawn near the north entrance of the stadium. 

In the case of severe weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors. The decision to hold commencement outdoors or indoors will be made on Thursday morning, May 2. Graduates and their families will be notified by email on May 2 if commencement must move indoors. Please see the Indoor Commencement (Severe Weather) section for further details.

Guest Seating—Abel Stadium

Primary seating for guests is on the bleachers in Abel Stadium. Guests are welcome to have water bottles, snack items and stadium seats in the football bleachers. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Seating on the football field is primarily reserved for graduates, honored guests, NWU faculty and the Symphonic Band. Designated areas on the field are provided for wheelchair seating and their companions, those with permanent or temporary disabilities, or hearing and vision impairments. Ushers will help arrange golf cart transportation to the football field if needed. Please note: Sticky or messy snacks (chewing gum, gummy candy, popcorn, sunflower seeds, etc.) are not allowed on the football turf.

Courtesy Services

Complimentary golf cart shuttles will run from designated parking lots throughout campus to aid guests as needed. For guests with accessibility needs, please enter Lot 9 at 53rd and Madison, and proceed south past Centennial Hall (just beyond the second speed bump); a parking attendant will direct you further.

Following commencement, guests may enjoy cookies and cold drinks on Taylor Commons (south of the student center). As a courtesy during the ceremony, guests may ask for a granola bar or salty snack at the concessions counter in Abel Stadium. We encourage guests to access the water bottle filling stations located just outside the north stadium entrance.

The NWU Bookstore will offer select items for sale at the concessions area in the stadium.

Restrooms are available inside Abel Stadium (to the rear of the concessions area), inside the Weary Center (access through main west entry doors) and in the Student Center (upper level, bookstore entrance on the north; lower level, coffee shop entrance on the south).

A first aid station manned by Lincoln Fire and Rescue is located inside the stadium at the concessions area. 

Staff at the Information tent outside Abel Stadium are happy to help answer questions you may have when you are on campus. All guests who are NWU alumni are invited to stop by the Information booth to pick up a small gift.

Indoor Commencement (Inclement Weather)

In case of severe weather, commencement will be held inside O’Donnell Auditorium in the Rogers Fine Arts Center (50th and Huntington). Due to the size of the graduating class and indoor seating capacity, each graduate will have two guests. Additional overflow seating will be available at First United Methodist Church (50th and Saint Paul), with the ceremony provided via livestream. Guests with accessibility needs may park in Lot 14, directly west of Rogers Fine Arts Center. Depending on the severity of the weather, golf cart shuttles may not be able to run and parking lots may not be attended.

The decision to hold commencement outdoors or indoors will be made on Thursday morning, May 2. If commencement needs to move inside, each graduate will receive an email from the NWU Box Office on Thursday afternoon, May 2, containing two tickets to commencement. The graduate can forward this email to each of their two guests. Each ticket includes a QR code that will be scanned before entering O’Donnell Auditorium, and can only be scanned once. Tickets can either be scanned from the email on your phone or can be printed out and scanned. All seats in O’Donnell will be reserved seating. Limited seating for wheelchairs is available in the auditorium; please see an usher for assistance upon check-in. Please note: Tickets are not needed if commencement is held outdoors; the number of guests is not limited in Abel Stadium.

We know that enjoying their Final Walk together is important to our graduates. Even if commencement must be held indoors, we will plan to continue the tradition. Bring an umbrella and enjoy the walk! The exception to being able to hold Final Walk is lightning; if lightning is present, the walk will be cancelled. We ask graduates to line up at 8:15 a.m. in the fieldhouse as planned; a final weather determination will be made at 8:40 a.m. Whether there is Final Walk or not, the Baccalaureate service will proceed at 9:00 a.m. in First United Methodist Church.

After Baccalaureate, graduates will check in for commencement in Gildersleeve Lounge, in the lower level of Rogers Fine Arts Center, then line up in nearby Emerson Recital Hall for the processional. Following the commencement ceremony, graduates will pick up their diploma and alumni gift in Great Hall, Smith-Curtis.

Please email commencement2024 [at] practicallyspeakingmd.com (commencement2024[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu) should you have additional specific questions about an indoor ceremony

Nebraska Wesleyan Bookstore

The Prairie Wolves Bookstore located in the Story Student Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, for late gown pick-up (if necessary) and to purchase NWU memorabilia. For convenience, select NWU items will also be displayed and available for purchase at the concessions area in Abel Stadium. On Friday, May 3, you can stop by the bookstore from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NWU Coffee Shop

The Archway Café, NWU’s coffee shop on the lower level of Story Student Center, will be open from 7 to 11 a.m. on May 4. Their regular menu (coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit, smoothies, snacks and cold drinks) will be available for purchase. You may take food and drink into Abel Stadium, but not the Baccalaureate service at First United Methodist Church. The Archway Café is also open on Friday, May 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Additional Information

Lodging

All NWU commencement guests may receive special hotel rates at the below establishments. To make a reservation please use the following phrasing—“I would like to make a reservation for the NWU commencement at the Nebraska Wesleyan negotiated rate.” Please book by April 3, 2024.

HotelAddressPricePhone
Country Inn & Suites Lincoln Airport1301 W Bond Cir$99-$149(402) 413-0774
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lincoln North7553 Husker Cir$115-$125(402) 323-2000
Embassy Suites Lincoln1040 P St$169(402) 474-1111
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln Downtown905 O St$149(402) 904-6701
Restaurants Nearby

For those who may not be familiar with food offerings in University Place and surrounding neighborhoods, we’ve compiled a short list. Hours noted are for May 3 and 4.

Coffee, Sweet Treats & More

Archway Café, NWU Student Center, lower level
Fri 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat 7-11 a.m.

Mo Java Café, 47th & St. Paul
Fri/Sat, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Jerusalen Bakery, 48th & St. Paul
Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (carryout only)

The Front Porch, 59th & Adams (east side of Cross the Line Church)
Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Scooter’s Coffee, 33rd & Cornhusker
Fri/Sat, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Cultiva, 35th & Holdrege
Fri 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

UNL Dairy Store, East Campus, enter near 38th & Holdrege
Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Full-service / Bar & grill

Sabor Latino, 48th & St. Paul
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Leighton’s Pub, 48th & Leighton
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

H.F. Crave, 48th & Holdrege
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Imperial Kitchen, 48th & Leighton
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Virginia’s Café, 38th & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri 5 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 5 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q, 32rd & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Mr. Hui’s, 33rd & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sid’s Deli & Subs, 33rd & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

La Cabana, 32nd & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

The Pub, 49th & Holdrege
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Bar 48, south of 48th & St. Paul
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Quick Casual

Runza, 56th & Holdrege
Dining Room Fri/Sat, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Drive Thru Fri/Sat, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Super Taco, 55th & Holdrege
Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Taco Inn, 56th & Holdrege
Fri/Sat, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Arby’s, 35th & Cornhusker Hwy.
Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, 48th & Garland
Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh, 48th & Leighton
Fri/Sat, 7 a.m.-4 a.m.

Delivery/Carryout

Domino’s, 48th & Leighton
Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.

Pizza Hut, 48th & Walker
Fri/Sat, 10:30 a.m.-Midnight

Maps and Directions

Access Lincoln’s current Street Closures map anytime.

DirectionsMaps
From the airport
Take West Adams out of airport.
Right on Cornhusker Highway (US-6).
Right on 48th Street.
Left on Adams Street (second stoplight).
Right on 56th Street. 

From the east on I–80
Take Waverly exit (#409).
Left on Cornhusker Highway (US-6).
Left on 70th Street.
Right on Adams Street.
Left on 56th Street. 

From the west on I–80
Take Downtown exit (#401A)
Take Superior Street exit (#1); turn left.
Right on 48th Street.
Left on Adams Street (second stoplight).
Right on 56th Street. 

From the southeast on Nebraska Parkway
Right on 84th Street.
Left on Adams Street (after several miles on 84th).
Left on 56th Street.

Final Walk Map

Final Walk Map

 

Lincoln Campus Map

Campus map

 

Lincoln Map

Cap and Gown Information

If you missed the online ordering deadline: Regalia is still available to purchase, in-store only. Quantities and sizes are limited, so don't wait!

For all online Bookstore Pickup orders, you will receive an email when they are ready for pickup; the estimated arrival date is 4/22.

For questions about cap and gown orders please contact the Prairie Wolves Bookstore at (402) 465-2490 or email cvenema [at] practicallyspeakingmd.com (cvenema[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Ordering Announcements

Personalized announcements are available online. Orders will require 3-4 weeks to process and ship so please order ASAP to get your items in plenty of time to send out to family and friends.

Caps and gowns, personalized announcements, diploma frames and rings can be ordered online by visiting the Herff Jones website.

Generic announcements are available in the bookstore to purchase for $2/announcement.

For questions about announcements please contact the Prairie Wolves Bookstore at (402) 465-2490 or email cvenema [at] practicallyspeakingmd.com (cvenema[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)