Fall Commencement for August and December 2016 Graduates
Fall Commencement will be held on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in Bender Arena. Students who received degrees in August 2016 and eligible degree candidates for December 2016 are invited to participate. American University’s 132nd commencement ceremony will feature the conferral of undergraduate and graduate degrees, the commencement address, and remarks by President Neil Kerwin.
Students must submit an Application to Graduate for August or December 2016 on the myAU.american.edu portal. Late submission of the application will affect inclusion of your name in the printed program.
Fall Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests Click here to view the Fall Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests. The guide contains helpful information on regalia rentals, commencement-related events, parking passes, and day-of instructions.
Fall Graduation Fair
AU's Campus Store will host the Graduation Fair on Tuesday, November 1 (noon - 6 p.m.; Mary Graydon Center, first floor, Rooms 2 - 3). Students can get information regarding commencement, speak with Herff Jones representative about announcements and class rings, and have measurements taken for regalia.
All students participating in commencement must rent or purchase academic regalia in the university’s distinctive red, white, and blue colors. This regalia includes a cap and gown for all graduates, plus a hood for masters’ and doctoral degree recipients, as determined by the graduate's area of specialty. Rental regalia is owned by Herff Jones and was designed specifically for AU. Rental or purchase of regalia serves as a student’s registration to participate in commencement.
Students who have been declared eligible to graduate will receive an email in mid-October with instructions on renting regalia. In order to ensure availability, orders must be placed via the myAU.american.edu portal and will require a credit card. Your order must include your height, cap size (use measuring tape available on myAU.american.edu portal or pick up one at the Mary Graydon Center information desk), and approximate weight to ensure proper fit. Orders missing this information will not be completed. Please contact your academic advisor if you have not received the email.
Orders received after November 7 are subject to availability and will be accepted via the portal until 5:00 pm on November 30. To place an order after November 30, students should fill out a paper form in AU Central then complete payment in the Campus Store.
The rental fee for regalia, including taxes, is approximately $45 for bachelor's, $92 for master's, and $125 for doctoral.
Students who are active duty, joining the Armed Forces, or authorized to wear military uniforms may wear formal dress uniforms in lieu of rental regalia, but you must email email@example.com in order to qualify for commencement ceremony tickets and parking passes).
Fall Commencement Tickets
Because of limited seating in Bender Arena, tickets will be required for admittance to the ceremony. A minimum allotment of six (6) tickets will be distributed to each student who has rented regalia and registered to participate in the ceremony. Graduates will be notified approximately two weeks prior to the ceremony if we are able to issue additional tickets. Graduates participating in the ceremony will not need a ticket for themselves. Tickets will be distributed in the Bridge Lounge (formerly the lower level of the Campus Store) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 19, and Tuesday, December 20.
Fall Commencement Parking Passes
Parking on campus will be limited for Fall Commencement. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each student who rents a cap and gown. The cap/gown rental serves as the graduate's registration to participate in the ceremony. The parking pass will be valid beginning at 11:00 a.m. and good for the Katzen Arts Center Parking Garage. Graduates will receive additional information when they pick up their passes during Cap and Gown Distribution in the Campus Store on Monday, December 19, and Tuesday, December 20. Passes will be distributed at a separate table next to the caps/gowns. Parking passes are complimentary. Additional passes will not be available for purchase.
Assistance with Phonetic Spelling at Graduation Fair
Staff from the College Writing Program will be available from noon to 4 pm at the Graduation Fair on Tuesday, November 1, to assist with phonetic spelling of names for commencement day. When you line up on commencement day, you will receive a pre-printed card from your academic advisor. You will hand this card to a reader during the ceremony so that your name can be announced as you cross the stage. The College Writing staff can help with the phonetic spelling of names that may be difficult to pronounce and this spelling can be added to your graduation application to assist our readers on commencement day.
Legacy Alumni Network
The Legacy Alumni Network (LAN) recognizes American University alumni and students who are the children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents of an AU alum. The LAN helps these members of the AU community stay in touch with the university and with one another through special events and networking opportunities. With more than 1,600 legacy alumni and students, the network rewards families for their continued generational support of AU. If you have any questions, contact Pat Rabb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-885-3413.
Students Joining the Armed Forces
The commencement printed program includes a section recognizing students joining the Armed Forces after graduation. To be included, email the following info by November 7 to email@example.com: Name, School or College, Branch of Military (ex. John Smith, School of Communication, Chemical Corps, US Army). Be sure to list “Armed Forces” in the subject of the email.
Mailings and Updates
This is the third of a series of email updates that you will receive before commencement. All emails and mailings will be available online. We encourage you to share this info with parents and guests.
Students who rent regalia for the December 21 ceremony will receive additional email updates in late November and early December with information on picking up your regalia, ceremony tickets, and parking pass, as well as line-up times and locations for the ceremony.