Commencement 2017

Graduation Ceremony

Saturday, May 6, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. – Noon

HPU, Roberts Hall Lawn

Speaker:  Wolf Blitzer

blitzer_wolf-2Wolf Blitzer is CNN’s lead political anchor and anchor of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” known as the command center for breaking news, politics and extraordinary reports from around the world. Over the decades, Blitzer has reported on a wide range of major stories that have shaped the international political landscape.

Blitzer will become part of an extraordinary lineup of HPU Commencement Speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; broadcast legend Tom Brokaw; Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security advisor; former First Lady Laura Bush; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City Mayor; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin; and Muhtar Kent, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

The numerous honors he has received for his reporting include an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and a Golden CableACE from the National Academy of Cable Programming for his and CNN’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War. He was vital to the network’s efforts to earn the 2006 Emmy-award for live coverage on Election Day. He was also among the teams awarded a George Foster Peabody award for Hurricane Katrina coverage; an Alfred I. duPont Award for coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia; and an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Blitzer has also interviewed some of recent history’s most notable figures including former United States Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, as well as many foreign heads of state including former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

General Information

The Graduation Ceremony is for High Point University candidates for graduation, their families and guests, and university faculty, staff, students and special guests. It is not open to the general public.

In the event of inclement weather, the Graduation Ceremony will be held in the Millis Athletic/Convocation Center and will be delayed until 9:30 a.m. Due to space limitations in the Millis Center, each candidate for graduation is permitted a maximum of two rain guest tickets.  The graduate will be required to show their Passport Card for entry.  Rain tickets must be picked up in advance, during normal office hours from April 27 to May 4 at the R.G. Wanek Center philanthropy tables.

Please cooperate as HPU employs heightened security measures due to the prominence of the speaker at the graduation ceremony. Guests may be inconvenienced with additional security checks. Thank you for being considerate and respectful of the ceremony.

Since large crowds are expected for this event, plan to arrive early to find a seat. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests are required to park at Oak Hollow Mall on Eastchester Drive in High Point.  Complimentary Shuttles to campus will begin running at 6:30 a.m.. The shuttles will make a continuous loop from the pick-up location to the High Point University campus until 2:30pm.

Parking will be available on campus for guests with disabilities on a first-come, first-served basis.  Drivers must display state issued placards or license plates to enter the parking lot.  Please enter campus at Boundary Avenue from University Parkway (formerly N. College Drive). Guests will be transported on wheelchair accessible shuttles and dropped off at the Slane Student Center fountain.

Special needs seating will be available at the front, left of the lawn (as you view the stage) on a first-come, first-served basis.  This seating is for guests in wheelchairs and for those who have difficulty walking. We ask that only one other guest sit with the special needs guest as seating in this section is limited.

Please observe the rope barricades and closed areas. Guests are asked to honor requests made by Junior Marshals.

Due to the formality of the ceremony, noisemakers and pets will not be permitted.

Temperatures vary widely in May, so be prepared for various weather scenarios.

Appropriate dress for this event is business attire.

Regardless of the weather, the Graduation Ceremony will be broadcast via closed-circuit television at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center. In the event of rain, the Graduation Ceremony will also be broadcast via closed-circuit television at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, the Wanek Center Extraordinaire Cinema, and Phillips Hall Francis Auditorium.

Roberts Hall and Wrenn Hall will be closed to the public during the Graduation Ceremony.

Restrooms will be available at Hayworth Fine Arts Center, Slane Student Center, and portable restrooms beside Wrenn Hall.

Bottled water will be available.

A photographer from GradImages will be on site to take photographs of each candidate for graduation at their special moment of recognition. Prior to the ceremony pre-register your permanent email address by visiting and clicking on Pre-Event Registration. After the ceremony you may order prints online at by calling toll-free at 800-261-2576.

Photographing candidates for graduation during the Graduation Ceremony is permissible. The platform area is restricted and may not be used for photographs. Please be respectful of boundaries; they have been put in place to prevent injury.

First Aid services will be available during the Graduation Ceremony. Anyone in need of assistance should contact uniformed officers or security personnel.

Candidates for Graduation Information

Commencement:  Graduates should arrive by 8:15am, in cap and gown, to the Kester International Promenade on May 6.

  • Undergraduate candidates for graduation must submit a graduation application to the University Registrar’s Office by March 17, 2017. Applications are available in the University Registrar’s Office and online at
  • Graduate School candidates for spring completion should apply for graduation in the Graduate School by February 12, 2017.  The application for graduation can be found online. 

Candidates for graduation must notify the University Registrar’s Office if they do not plan to attend the Graduation Ceremony. Any candidate for graduation who is unable to attend the Graduation Ceremony must provide the University Registrar a current address so that their diploma may be mailed.

Diplomas will reflect first name, middle name/initial, last name, and any applicable suffix as submitted by application to the University. Diploma pickup will be in the Slane Center following the Commencement Ceremony until 1:30pm.

Commencement caps, gowns, and hoods must be ordered by March 17, 2017. Please follow this link to order your cap, gown, and hood. The High Point Campus bookstore will be open Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 7:30 a.m. and remain open until 2:00 p.m.  Academic Regalia pick-up will begin by April 3rd at the bookstore.  Questions about academic regalia can be directed to Jennifer Gonzalez, (336) 841-9221 or

Graduation Announcements and Rings

Balfour is High Point University’s official vendor for graduation announcements and rings. Orders can be placed online at or by calling 1-877-225-3687.

Contact the Campus Bookstore at 336-841-9221 with questions.


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