Grad Fest Brings Graduates Together to Celebrate Big

Published: May 5, 2023

It was a packed house Wednesday, May 3, as College of Western Idaho (CWI) graduates, their family, friends, and support system took over the Nampa Campus Academic Building for Grad Fest! The annual party helps kick-off graduation events around the College by bringing together the mighty CWI community with activities, food, and lots of celebrations.

The party featured food from BIG Daddy’s Barbeque, photo opportunities courtesy of Alpha-Lit, cap decorating courtesy of CWI Foundation, giant yard games and an inflatable obstacle course, music and a DJ provided by Rocky Mountain Roll, merchandise from the CWI Bookstore, giveaways, grand prize drawings, and more.

Graduates were also able to reflect on their time at CWI through the College’s Marketing and Communication photo booth table. Signs with different prompts allowed students and community members to give shout-outs, share a favorite memory from their time at the College, announce what is next for them in life, and more!

“Because of CWI, my dreams are now achievable dreams,” wrote Elliot Johnson.

“A moment I’ll never forget is being the first in my family to graduate,” signed Sky Tarrant.

“To my first-semester self, you took a step and went a mile,” said Jamie Christensen.

There was even more to celebrate at this year’s Grad Fest as CWI’s Workforce Development hosted Certificate Ceremonies for their Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing Apprenticeship graduates.

Each of the three apprenticeship programs had its own certificate ceremony where nearly 230 Workforce Development Apprentices received their certificate of completion from their respective four-year program.

  • HVAC — 65 apprentices
  • Electrical — 115 apprentices
  • Plumbing — 46 apprentices

All student apprentices are required to have a minimum of 576 hours of classroom (in-person or online) training to complete a four-year program. Workforce Development also aims to have students earn 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience throughout their four years to be able to take Idaho’s Occupational and Professional License exam to become a licensed Journeymen.

The ceremonies included guest speakers from industry leaders around the Treasure Valley, including UMC, Inc. Project Executive, Less Bassard, Rundle Electric’s Bill Stokes, and Fox Heating and Cooling’s Dennis Fox.

“It was so exciting to see families and friends celebrate the success of their graduates,” said Director of CWI's Work-Based Learning Center, John Russ. “It was also a great opportunity to celebrate the families that had to sacrifice time with their loved ones to achieve this goal. It was truly a family celebration of four years of studies and hard work.”

With hundreds in attendance and a good time had by all, 2023 Grad Fest was a success!

Next up is CWI’s 14th Commencement Ceremony, which will bring together and recognize this year's degree, certificate, GED, and apprenticeship graduates as they walk across the ExtraMile Arena stage on Friday, May 12.

For those with questions or in need of more information, visit the Commencement page.

Stay Up To Date

Learn about news and events by subscribing to CWI’s eNewsletter.

View Newsletter Archive