This webpage is designed to answer frequently asked questions about Wiley College’s Commencement and to provide information that will make it a memorable experience for each graduating senior, your family and guests. You will find information about the events that celebrate senior achievements, details about attire, ceremonial protocol, rehearsal, parking, and helpful suggestions for making the most of this special time.


Wiley College Baccalaureate 2023 – 6:00 pm | Friday, May 5, 2023, Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel

The Baccalaureate Service is a religious ceremony held the Friday evening before Commencement in the Wiley College Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel. This religious service features a special sermon for graduate candidates and their guests.

Wiley College Baccalaureate Dinner – 7:30 pm | Friday, May 5, 2023

The Office of the President and the Division of Business and Finance invite graduate candidates and up to 5 (five) guests to a celebratory dinner in honor of their achievements. Tickets will be available when you pick up your graduation regalia.

Wiley College 134th Commencement Exercises – 8:00 am | Saturday, May 6, 2023, Wiley College

This ceremony is hosted by Wiley College President & CEO Herman J. Felton Jr., J.D., Ph.D.  A morning celebrating Wiley College’s spirit and pride, the ceremony begins with a procession of graduate candidates, faculty, and College leadership.

Remarks from student representatives, the Commencement speaker, and college leadership precede the official conferral of degrees by the president. This is an opportunity for graduates to celebrate their accomplishments with their classmates, family, and friends. The ceremony begins promptly at 8:00 am, and is expected to last approximately 90 minutes (Rain or Shine).

Graduation Clearance: Students who have received clearance for graduation from the Office of the Registrar may participate in Wiley College’s Commencement activities. Please contact if you have not received your confirmation or have additional questions about commencement clearance.

Commencement Rehearsal: Rehearsal for Commencement Exercises will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 10:00 am.  It is strongly encouraged for all graduates to participate in rehearsal in order to know what to expect on the day of graduation, to become acquainted with the layout to know where to enter, sit, walk, and exit. Rehearsal will include lining up in order, practicing the processional, and receiving of diploma, etc.

Day of Commencement:  Graduate candidates are required to arrive at the Fred T. Long Student Union Ballroom no later than 6:00 am. Graduates will be lined up and begin the processional from the Ballroom with a special program PRIOR to the procession into the Pemberton Complex Field. Graduates must be prompt and in place by 6:00 am.


Please view the Commencement Web page for updates regularly. Additional information about graduation will be sent periodically to your Wiley College email account, so check your Wiley email regularly for updates. Failure to check your Wiley email account regularly may result in you missing important graduation information and opportunities. To ensure that all important College mailings are delivered to the correct destination, submit any changes in your local/permanent contact information immediately to the Office of the Registrar at 903-927-3215. It is especially important that all graduates update their permanent address before leaving Wiley.

Obtaining Regalia- Regalia can be picked up in Smith-Nooks Building Office of Enrollment Management by appointment starting April 24 through May 5, 2023, by 3:00 pm. To schedule an appointment, please sign up via the following link- 

Commencement Fees– The Commencement Fee is $175.00.

Tickets and Seating for Commencement Events – Seating for family and friends will be available one hour prior to the start of graduation (7:00 am). All graduate candidates must arrive at 6:00 am to line up for processional and ceremony.   

Conferring of Degrees – The certification and conferral of your degree takes place prior and during commencement on May 6, 2023. Degrees and official transcripts are distributed immediately following commencement. The official degree conferral date for Spring 2023 commencement is May 6, 2023.

Where can I watch – Commencement Exercises will be live streamed via the Wiley College Facebook and Youtube page.

Pictures– GradImages will provide the graduation photography for the day of commencement. You will be required to submit a card with your name, phone, and email as part of graduation. In the event you do not receive an email after graduation, you can contact GradImages by telephone at 800.628.4509 or 850.574.0774.

Exit Survey and Post-Graduation Employment Plans– Wiley College requires graduating students to complete information about their experience at Wiley College and their plans post-graduation. Please complete the survey using the following link Post-Graduation Survey (AY 2022-2023) or QR Code below.


  • Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | Senior Chapel | 11:00 am | Sponsored by Office of the Dean of Religious Life
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | Senior Hump day Send Off | Student Union | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm | Sponsored by the Division of Student Development
  • Thursday, April 20, 2023 | Career Services Final Check In Party | Ballroom | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm




Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, is one of the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities established in the Lone Star State. The institution was founded in 1873 by Bishop Isaac Wiley of the Methodist Episcopal Church and chartered by the Freedman’s Aid Society in 1882. Isaac Wiley grew up with dreams of becoming a minister but instead turned to medicine.  In 1850 he was given the opportunity to go to China on a medical missionary trip. Following his return to the United States, he entered the ministry and rose through the ranks before becoming a Bishop in 1872. In 1873 he founded Wiley College.

The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is dedicated to the idea of social good and seeks to contribute to and revitalize the community, which it serves. Wiley College was established to provide an education to newly freed men and women and to prepare them for a new life. It was also established to train teachers for careers at black elementary and secondary schools in Texas and other states and territories.


THE COLLEGE MEDALLION – The College Medallion is a three-and-a-half-inch replica of the College’s seal. It displays three significant elements in its design: the commitment to academic excellence, community service, and research. The medallion is worn as part of the official dress of the President of Wiley College at formal academic functions.

THE MACE – Dating back to medieval times, when it was used as a weapon, the mace is now a recognized symbol of authority. Traditionally, colleges and universities use the mace to depict the institution’s mission. The mace is carried in all formal academic processions that include the president of the institution. The creation of the Wiley College Mace was commissioned in 1994 and was the gift of the Board of Trustees. This gift honored Dr. Joseph I. Johnson for his years of advocacy and generous support of the College and his long and faithful tenure as a trustee.

COMMENCEMENT – The term Commencement derives from a practice in the Medieval University where it was customary for a candidate for an academic degree to present a public lecture or disputation to the faculty and other scholars gathered to hear it. If the disputation was successfully defended and accepted, the candidate was admitted to the degree with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities hereunto appertaining. The first public lecture or disputation was originally called an “Inception.” It signified the beginning of the Commencement of the scholar’s academic career in the degree to which he had been admitted. The ceremony surrounding this inception or “graduation” has subsequently come to be called Commencement.

Congratulations Class of 2023!

Best wishes to all students graduating from Wiley College on Saturday, May 6, 2023, on this major accomplishment. Wiley College wishes you success in your chosen paths and looks forward to continuing our relationship and keeping you close in the years to come. When you return to Wiley for homecoming, reunions and other occasions, be sure to stop by Alumni Affairs in the McLeod Hall to fellowship and to provide updates such as new address, an additional degree or new position.  This will assist us in maintaining accurate records so you can receive all correspondences from your alma mater. You can always call Alumni Affairs at 903-927-3392, send us an email at