Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Black Graduation Ceremony

Black Graduation

19th Annual Black Graduation Ceremony

Register to participate in the ceremony here.

Deadline: May 31

Date: June 12, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
(Graduates are expected to check-in at 6:00 p.m.)

Location: University Presbyterian Church (This event is non-denominational)
Address: 4540 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Parking: Available on site. More information here.
Note: You can also park on the UW Campus and walk to the church (please note, fees may be administered)

About the Black Graduation Ceremony

The Black Graduation Ceremony is a pre-commencement celebration to honor African and African American students who through unyielding determination have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from the University of Washington. The event recognizes their accomplishments and provides an opportunity for graduates to honor significant people who have helped them achieve their goal. Students are honored together in one setting, and their families also get the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and dedication. The ceremony reinforces the bonds of scholarship and extends the sense of community. The intimate ceremony is representative of African and African American culture and culminates with a Kente Stole presentation.

Participation in the UW Black Graduation Ceremony is open to all UW undergraduate and graduate students who have earned their degree between autumn 2014 and summer 2015. The ceremony honors African and African American heritage and reinforces the value of community and scholarship. In order to participate, students must register by May 31, 2015. Only students who have registered by this date are guaranteed to be listed in the program, receive a recognition gift, and complimentary guest tickets.

The Kente Ceremony

Each graduate can select a significant person or people in their lives to present the graduate gift of the Kente Stole. During the ceremony each graduate will be stoled with a Kente sloth, native to Ghana. Though Kente was developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti people, it has its roots in a long tradition of African weaving, dating back to about 3000 B.C. Often reserved for royalty, the stole is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values and political thoughts.

Graduating Student Speakers

Each year we seek out students from the graduating class to deliver a graduate response. Students are selected by the graduating class via an online poll. If you are interested in serving as a student speaker for this year’s ceremony, please click HERE.

2014 Photo Gallery

*Due to budget constraints and a minimal number of on-campus venues to accommodate our graduates, their families and the campus community, churches within the surrounding area have been our best alternative option. The Black Graduation Committee is currently considering other viable options to return this celebration to the UW Seattle campus.