Westcliff University Commencement 2024

Westcliff University Commencement 2024

Your next chapter starts now!

We are eagerly anticipating Westcliff University’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony. An amazing celebration of the remarkable achievements of our graduating students. We take great pride in our Warriors and are excited to witness their influence extend beyond the classroom, serving as role models and paving the way for future generations.

Pioneer in Wireless Technology, Arlene Harris to Deliver Keynote Address at Westcliff University 2024 Commencement

Arlene HarrisWe are delighted to announce that Arlene Harris, a visionary entrepreneur, inventor, and advocate in the telecommunications industry, will deliver the 2024 commencement address at Westcliff University’s 2024 graduation ceremony. A staunch advocate for women in STEM, Arlene’s remarkable career has left an indelible mark on the world of wireless technology, and her contributions continue to shape the way we connect and communicate.

One of Arlene Harris’ most significant contributions to the telecommunications industry is her pioneering work in over-the-air (OTA) updates. This innovation revolutionized how embedded systems from cell phones to electronic vehicles are maintained and enhanced, making the process more efficient, secure, and user-friendly. OTA updates not only eliminate the need for physical connections but also enable faster adoption rates and address security vulnerabilities promptly.

Arlene’s prepaid cell phone concept has had a profound impact particularly in developing countries where wireless technology was largely inaccessible. By increasing access to information, services, and opportunities, her prepaid mobile phones empowered individuals and contributed to financial inclusion, effectively creating a tool that lifted billions of people out of poverty.

Through companies she founded like GreatCall and her innovative phone concept, SOS, later named Jitterbug, Arlene played a significant role in providing accessible technology and services to underserved senior adults. GreatCall’s acquisition by Best Buy and subsequent rebranding as Lively underscore its commitment to serving the senior demographic and bridging the gap in cellular services for older adults.

As the graduating Class of 2024 prepares to celebrate their achievements, Arlene’s presence as the keynote speaker serves as a beacon of inspiration. Her continuing career journey exemplifies the endless possibilities that await those who dare to dream and defy expectations. Westcliff University is honored to welcome Arlene Harris and looks forward to hearing her words of encouragement as the graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives.

Also joining the stage for a special appearance will be Arlene’s business and life partner Marty Cooper, the original inventor of the cell phone.


Marty Cooper: Pioneering the Mobile Revolution

Marty CooperMarty Cooper will join Arlene Harris onstage as Westcliff’s Special VIP Guest. Cooper, known as the “father of the cell phone,” is an American engineer and inventor who pioneered the development of the first handheld cellular mobile phone. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.

In 1973, while working as a division manager at Motorola, Cooper conceived the first portable cellular phone he called “Dyna TAC” and led the team that developed it. On April 3, 1973, Cooper made history by making the first public mobile phone call on the streets of New York City. Cooper’s vision for cellular technology differed from that of the prevailing ‘Ma Bell’ monopoly, which focused on the more limited use of cell technology in cars. He fought against this monopoly to bring mobile communication to the masses.

Throughout his career, Cooper held various positions at Motorola, including vice president and corporate director of research and development. He also co-founded ArrayComm, a company focused on smart antenna technology.

Cooper has been recognized with numerous awards for his groundbreaking work including the IEEE Centennial Medal, the Prince of Asturias Prize for Science and Technology; he was a co-recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize; one of the world’s preeminent awards for engineering achievement, and he was the 2013 winner of the coveted Marconi Prize. The Marconi Prize, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Communications,” acknowledged Cooper’s revolutionary work and its profound impact on modern communication. He was also inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

As a visionary and innovator, Marty Cooper’s contributions have revolutionized the field of wireless communications, paving the way for the widespread adoption of mobile phones. Today, more than 6 billion people around the globe use the technology he pioneered, shaping the modern world as we know it.

Graduation Information

Friday, June 7, 2024

5 PM* PDT at OC Great Park at the Championship Soccer Stadium, Irvine, CA

*Doors open at 4 PM PDT for guests, graduates should be on site no later than 3:00 PM PDT

Food Trucks will be available onsite for food and beverages.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us at commencement@westcliff.edu

Eligible to Graduate


  • UG/Masters – Fall 2023 – Summer 2024 (Graduated or enrolled in their final class by the end of Summer 2024)
  • Doctoral – Summer 2023 6 – Summer 2024 Session 5 (must be in the final dissertation block)


All students interested in walking at Commencement need to pay their balance by a deadline of April 15. All students with an open balance after April 15 will be nor be eligible to walk at Commencement.


Students intending to graduate must purchase graduation regalia to walk in Commencement. Students not wearing regalia will not be eligible to participate in Commencement. Note: Westcliff University does not provide regalia to students participating in Commencement.

Important Deadlines


Deadline to order regalia/stoles from Jostens is April 26.

Order 2024 Regalia from Jostens


Deadline to RSVP is April 15

Info Sessions

Info sessions will be available to students via Zoom so they can prepare for Commencement. The following days will be options to attend the Commencement Info Session.

  • Wednesday, April 17
  • Thursday, April 25

Payment Dates

All balances need to be paid by April 15, 2024 to participate in Commencement

Travel & Hotel Information

Hotel Block

Westcliff has secured a hotel block for those students and families interested in attending Commencement from out of town. We have booked hotel blocks for Embassy Suites and Marriott in Irvine.

Embassy Suites

This hotel is located directly across the street from Westcliff’s Irvine campus and provides complimentary pick-up from John Wayne Airport.


If available, please try and fly into the John Wayne (SNA) Airport as it is only five minutes away from Westcliff University.

If you are unable to fly into John Wayne, the following airports are available with their corresponding commute times. Please note that Westcliff University does not provide airport pick-up or drop-off.

  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX): Around 1 to 1 hour and 30 min away from campus.
  • Long Beach Airport: around 30-45 minutes travel time to Irvine.
  • Ontario Airport: between 45 min to 1.5 hours of commute time to Irvine.

Please confirm and book your travel arrangements before flying to California. As a reminder, Westcliff does not offer rooms or dormitories on campus.

If you are traveling to Commencement from out of the country:

  • The embassy does not take letters from the University. Students should write their own letters and use the invite/announcement for tourist visas.
  • Please prepare to arrive 1-2 days in advance to account for any delayed or missed flights.

Honors and Hooding

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

Students invited to the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will need to be enrolled in their final defense by Session 5.

Students will have the opportunity to ask a professor, adult friend, or family member to hood them during the ceremony.

All students must wear their Doctoral Regalia to the Hooding Ceremony and during the hooding.

Honors Ceremony

To participate in the Honors Ceremony scheduled for June 7, 2024, candidates must have the following criteria met:

  • Completed all courses
  • Finished with a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Paid all tuition balance by April 15

Invitations to students that qualify for this ceremony will be sent on April 20 and RSVPs will need to be submitted by May 15.

Attire will be business professional and guests are welcome to attend.

Honors and Hooding

This is an event separate from the Commencement Ceremony also happening on June 7. These events will take place at 10 am on Westcliff’s campus. Participation in this event is by invitation only, but students are welcome to attend to celebrate their colleagues and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will graduation be held?

OC Great Park at the Championship Soccer Stadium, Irvine, CA

Do I need my regalia for the ceremony?

Yes! You are required to be in your regalia in order to participate.

Can I wear heels?

You can wear heels but they CANNOT be stilettos. Wedges are fine

What time do I need to be at the venue?

Please arrive no later than 4:30 PM.

Are party poppers or confetti allowed?

NO. All party poppers or confetti type products are prohibited and will be confiscated at entrance.

How many tickets will I get for my guest attendees?

Currently, the event is an open event. No tickets are required. You are welcome to invite the whole family. Please note the University reserves the right to enforce ticket restrictions if the number of attendees exceeds capacity.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

Diplomas are picked up from the Registrar Department. They are not handed out at the ceremony but can be picked up in advance of the ceremony. Please reach out to graduationforms@westcliff.edu to set up an appointment.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us at commencement@westcliff.edu

Westcliff University Commencement 2023 Highlights

westcliff commencement 2023 photo link
Career and Professional Development

Career and Professional Development

The Westcliff University Alumni Relations Department seeks to educate, inspire and empower students beyond graduation and throughout their career journeys. We support, engage and build a community for Westcliff graduates by providing opportunities for connection, leadership, and philanthropy. Joining the Westcliff University Alumni Association is quick, easy and free of charge: Register today