Commencement Week 2019: What You Need to Know

The GW community will celebrate with graduates and their families May 14-19.

May 13, 2019

Commencement Week

Commencement week at the George Washington University begins Tuesday, with a week of events celebrating the achievements of its graduates culminating in the university-wide 2019 Commencement ceremony on the National Mall.

The week’s notable events include the individual celebrations for all 10 GW undergraduate and graduate schools, the Athletics Commencement, a senior class toast, a doctoral hooding ceremony and a university-wide interfaith baccalaureate service.

The university-wide Commencement ceremony is May 19. Watch a live stream of Commencement and the individual school ceremonies online starting May 14.

Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of NBC News’ “TODAY,” will deliver the Commencement address for its expected 25,000 guests on the Mall near the Washington Monument.

For more than a decade, Ms. Guthrie has covered high-profile stories and conducted exclusive interviews with a multitude of prominent guests including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and many others. She served as NBC’s primary primetime anchor for the 2018 midterm election coverage as well the 2016 presidential election and other major breaking news events.

George Washington President Thomas LeBlanc will award honorary degrees at the ceremony. This year’s recipients are businesswoman and philanthropist Cindy McCain and alumna Christine Darden, a former NASA engineer.

Ms. McCain is the widow of Republican presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. John McCain. She has served in leadership roles advocating for a range of humanitarian causes, including ending human trafficking and helping its victims, providing health care to children around the globe and raising awareness of issues facing girls and women in Africa.

In addition to her humanitarian work, Ms. McCain is the chairperson of her family’s business, Hensley Beverage Company, one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation.

Dr. Darden, D.Sc. ’83, is included in the bestselling book, “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” which inspired the award-wining movie.

Having joined NASA in 1967 as a “human computer,” Dr. Darden later worked as one of a handful of female aerospace engineers. Her career lasted for four decades and was marked with awards for outstanding performance and achievement.

This year’s student speaker is Tyriana Evans, a graduating senior majoring in journalism and mass communication. She will deliver an address on overcoming fear.

If you are in D.C. from out of town for Commencement and want to explore restaurants and other Foggy Bottom destinations you can find tips for restaurants and other attractions in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood in GW Today.