Commencement 2021

More updates to come!

Commencement May 22, 2021

Please review the messages below from President Deana Porterfield and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. David Basinger.  Students will continue to receive email communication in the coming weeks with further details regarding ceremony times and location.

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A Message from President Porterfield 2/18/2021

Dear Class of 2021,

Congratulations on persisting with your education! You have successfully come this far and your graduation day is only a few months away. I am very happy to share with you that Roberts Wesleyan College is committed to hosting an in-person commencement event that honors your academic accomplishments. We are looking forward to celebrating you, our 2021 graduates this May.

As we address how to best handle our May 2021 commencement, and the need to protect the health of everyone in attendance and in compliance with the New York State and Regional health guidelines, the event will look different than usual. We are committed to celebrating your accomplishments and making the event a memorable moment for you.

Commencement ceremonies will be held on the weekend of May 22, 2021. We will be sending out additional details in the coming weeks such as specific dates, times and locations. Given the uncertain and fluid state of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance by family and other guests is still to be determined. All commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed and recorded to view by those who cannot attend in-person.

Communication regarding Commencement will continue to be sent to your Roberts email address throughout the spring semester from the Office of Academic Affairs and will be available on this web page.

We are so grateful for your patience as we navigate the ongoing changes of COVID-19. On behalf of all of the administration, faculty and staff, I want you to know that your resilience, flexibility, resourcefulness and hard work are highly appreciated and deeply admired.

Congratulations on your many accomplishments! We are proud of you and we look forward to celebrating commencement with you!

With Prayer and Optimism,

President Porterfield

Congratulations from CAO, Dr. David Basinger, 3/23/2021

This email was sent to all students eligible to participate in the May 2021 Commencement...

March 23, 2021

Let me be among the first to say, “Congratulations on your graduation!

We call the graduation ceremony “Commencement” because this is a beginning, not an ending.  This is the start of your life’s next chapter as it builds upon your Roberts education.  It is an exciting time of celebration and anticipation: Celebration because you are completing (or nearly completing) the requirements for your degree after devoting many hours to this goal, and anticipation because you can look forward to the new opportunities your future holds.  I am excited for you and your fellow graduates as I watch God’s plan for your lives take on new dimensions. 

I am happy to reiterate that we will be hosting in-person commencement ceremonies in May.  Specifics on the date, time, and location of your ceremony will be communicated to your Roberts email address when they become available. 

Roberts faculty and staff are working hard to ensure that your graduation will be a special milestone for you. You will receive/experience all the aspects involved in a meaningful commencement including a commencement program, a diploma cover, any GPA honor cords you may have earned, and the opportunity to cross the stage and have photos taken.  It will be a celebration!  Upon completion of your degree requirements, we will ensure your degree is posted to your transcript and your diploma is sent to the address provided on your Application for Degree.  You should receive your diploma in mid-August.

While we are taking care of these important details, all you need to do to participate* in the celebration is order your regalia.  Be on the lookout for an email from the Roberts Wesleyan College Barnes & Noble Bookstore with a link to place an order and purchase your cap & gown.  If you are a student who currently resides on-campus, be sure to use the Roberts Campus address for shipping.

Once again, congratulations.  We are excited to celebrate with you!


Dr. Basinger

David Basinger, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Chief Academic Officer 
Office of Academic Affairs
585.594.6659 |

*If extenuating circumstances prevent your participation in Commencement, it is important that you send an email requesting to graduate in absentia.  Please send your request to

The last day to order online is Monday, April 26, 2021.
Eligible graduates should receive an email soon from the Roberts Wesleyan College Barnes & Noble Bookstore with a link to place an order and purchase their cap & gown.  That website is

Commencement is a formal celebration of your academic achievement. Graduates who plan to participate in Spring Commencement are required to wear the appropriate academic attire: 

  • Bachelor's Degree - Bachelor's gown and cap in black with tassel
  • Master's Degree - Master's gown, hood, and cap in black with tassel
  • Doctor of Psychology Degree - Doctor's gown, hood, and cap in black with tassel

Undergraduate Latin and GPA honors are identified by the Registrar's Office based on your GPA as of March 1, 2021.  Honor cords will be distributed at graduate check-in on the day of commencement

When entering a shipping address, if you are a student who currently resides on campus, be sure to use your Roberts campus address: Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Dr., Rochester, NY 14624.

All student graduates are expected to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. If extenuating circumstances prevent your participation in commencement, it is important that you send an email requesting to graduate in absentia to the Chief Academic Officer. Please send your request to

Family & Friends
We certainly understand and share your desire to have parents attend commencement.  The state has explicitly said that recent rulings about outside guests at athletic events do not apply to commencements.  A separate decision from NYS on commencements should be coming soon.  We will at that point revisit our position and communicate that with students and parents.