Commencement | Transportation and Parking


Transportation and Parking


General Info

Commencement ceremonies are held in Bender Arena. Doors open 45 minutes before each ceremony. Allow enough time to park and be seated ten minutes before the start of the ceremony, since the lobby is closed during the processional. There are no coat check facilities in Bender Arena. Graduates should leave coats, purses, etc. with a guest or locked in their vehicles. Please refer to the disability section of this site for more information on seating and other assistance for mobility and hearing impaired persons.

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Getting to AU

We encourage our guests to use public transportation, such as the DC Metro, and the complimentary AU Shuttle. Shuttle service runs between main campus and the Tenleytown-AU Metro station, which is on Metro's Red Line. Shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes from the Nebraska Avenue and south-side shuttle stops. Please note that service to and from the north-side shuttle stop will be limited throughout the day.

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Commencement Parking Passes

Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each graduate with their cap and gown. The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage based on the graduate's school/college. Graduates will receive specific information when they pick up their passes during Cap and Gown Distribution in the Campus Store from May 6 to 9. Parking passes are complimentary; additional passes will not be available for purchase. Note that parking permits issued by AU Transportation Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during commencement weekend. Parking lots are indicated on the campus map.

Overflow parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in satellite parking lots. Shuttle service will be provided to and from campus. Additional details will be announced at the beginning of the spring semester.

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Disability Parking

Guests with valid state issued handicapped permits/plates requiring accessible parking will be permitted to park in the lots next to the Asbury and Osborn buildings. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before proceeding to their designated parking garage. This entrance, located on the south side of Bender Arena across from the Asbury Building, allows for ground-level access to the ceremony area. Public Safety staff will be present in the parking areas to direct vehicles to this entrance. Parking lots and the accessible entrance to Bender Arena are indicated on the campus map.

For additional information about special needs, please contact the Academic Support and Access Center by calling 202-885-3360 v/tty or email at

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