University Counts Down to Commencement Week

An estimated 25,000 graduates, friends and families will attend the university-wide ceremony on the National Mall May 18.

GW Commencement
May 07, 2014
In 11 days, the university will stage its biggest event of the year—Commencement on the National Mall. 
With an unparalleled setting between the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, thousands of graduates will celebrate the annual rite of passage on May 18. It’s the culminating event in a week of more than two dozen ceremonies.
“These events are a great celebration of our students’ successes,” said Michael Peller, associate vice president for events and venues. “With its location on the National Mall, GW’s Commencement is like no other in the country.”
The festivities begin with Athletics Commencement, held May 13 for GW’s student-athletes who are unable to attend the university-wide ceremony because of athletics commitments.
On May 15, George Washington President Steven Knapp and Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell, B.S. ’85, will join graduating seniors for a special class of 2014 toast on University Yard. At the annual event, seniors present a gift to the university from funds they’ve raised throughout the year. Also among the highlights on May 15, the university will honor graduating doctoral students in a traditional hooding ceremony, and Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society, will induct new members. 
The university’s Interfaith Baccalaureate, which celebrates the diversity of faith traditions at the university, is held the morning of May 17 at Western Presbyterian Church. The service is open to the entire university community.
Each of GW’s 10 schools will hold a celebration ceremony on campus to recognize its individual graduates May 16 to 18. 
All graduates are invited to attend the May 18 university-wide Commencement, where world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés will provide a keynote address. Mr. Andrés, along with social justice advocate Maudine Cooper and businessman and philanthropist W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A. ’81, will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony. 
Dr. Knapp, Mr. Carbonell, George Washington Alumni Association President Steve Frenkil, B.A. ’74, and student speaker Gabriel Felder will also address the graduates.
View the full schedule of Commencement events.