Graduation weekend 2023

Doug Tilstra, vice president of student life, to give commencement address


Walla Walla University will celebrate its 2023 commencement on Sunday, June 11 at 8:30 a.m. on the WWU Centennial Green. The events on Sunday will cap a weekend of graduation events starting on Friday, June 9, at 1 p.m.

The commencement speaker is Doug Tilstra, vice president for Student Life where he is responsible for housing, spiritual and social programs, student missions, campus ministries, athletics, student government, and more. From his time at WWU, Tilstra has enjoyed working with students, especially through Ministry of Jesus, a class he taught each spring. 

Tilstra’s commencement speech is titled “Throwing Candy to the Passers-by,” exploring what to throw out and what to retain from the graduates' years at WWU. 

Weekend event highlights include:

Consecration, University Church
Friday, June 9, 8 p.m.
The senior class will present music and the spoken word at the evening vespers program.

Baccalaureate, University Church
Saturday, June 10, 11:15 a.m.
Timothy Gillespie, lead pastor of the Redlands Crosswalk Church and father of a graduating senior, will be the speaker of this event. 

Commencement, Centennial Green
Sunday, June 11, 8:30 a.m.
Doug Tilstra, vice president for student life, will speak. 

For a complete schedule of graduation weekend events and to watch a live stream of commencement, visit For further information, contact the Office of the President at (509) 527-2066 or send email to

Posted June 5, 2023. 

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