Commencement Week 2018: What You Need to Know

GW community invites graduates and their families to celebrate May 14-20.

Graduates and attendees will see the U.S. Capitol when looking toward the stage at Commencement on May 20. (GW Today File Photo)
May 14, 2018

It’s officially commencement week at the George Washington University.

The university will celebrate the achievements of its graduates during a week of events, May 14-20, which culminates in the university-wide 2018 Commencement on the National Mall.

This year, the Commencement stage and seating area will be situated between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument. Graduates and attendees will see the U.S. Capitol when looking toward the stage at Commencement on May 20.

Other notable events include individual school celebrations for all 10 GW undergraduate and graduate schools, Athletics Commencement, the senior class toast, doctoral hoodings and the university interfaith baccalaureate service

President of the National Academy of Sciences and renowned geophysicist Marcia McNutt will deliver the 2018 Commencement address before an expected 25,000 people.

Dr. McNutt was elected president of the NAS—the United States government’s top science advisory organization—in 2016, becoming the first woman to hold the position. At the NAS, she has focused on improving ethics in science and promoting women in the field. Prior to her role as president, she served as editor-in-chief of the prestigious Science family of journals.

George Washington President Thomas LeBlanc will award honorary degrees at the ceremony. The 2018 recipients are Dr. McNutt, Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, B.S. ’06, M.T.A. ’11, and Steven Knapp, president emeritus and university professor of English.

Ms. Meyers Taylor is a three-time Olympic medalist and former standout Colonial softball player. Most recently, she received a silver medal for women’s bobsled at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Dr. Knapp served as president of the university from 2007 to 2017. During his 10 years of leadership, Dr. Knapp catalyzed the university’s growth as a world-class research institution, oversaw a significant increase in student public and community service and expanded access to a GW education to students from all backgrounds. Dr. Knapp also was instrumental in making the university a hub for the arts with the addition of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and creation of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

The student speaker this year is Meenu Mathews, B.A. candidate in international affairs, who will speak on opening the doors to opportunity.

Want more details about 2018 commencement week activities? Find the full schedule here. If you can’t make it in person, you can watch a live stream of Commencement and the individual school ceremonies here.

University News


University Prepares for Commencement

April 16, 2018
President Emeritus Steven Knapp to receive an honorary degree at the May 20 ceremony.

The Elliott School’s Meenu Mathews Named 2018 Commencement Student Speaker

March 26, 2018
The B.A. candidate in international affairs will speak on opening the doors to opportunity.

National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt Will Deliver GW Commencement Address

March 05, 2018
Three-time Olympic medalist and GW alumna Elana Meyers Taylor will be awarded an honorary degree.