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CEREMONY AND SEATING


  • AU's commencement ceremonies will be held in Bender Arena on campus. Guests attending the College of Arts & Sciences ceremony on Saturday, May 13, at 6:00 pm and the School of International Service ceremony on Sunday, May 14, at 2:30 pm will require tickets. Students participating in the School of Communication, Kogod School of Business, and School of Public Affairs ceremonies are strongly encouraged to bring no more than seven guests. Tickets are not required for these ceremonies.
  • The doors to Bender Arena will open 45 minutes to one hour before each ceremony. No one will be permitted inside prior to that time. Only graduating students will be permitted in the line-up assembly areas inside Bender Arena.

  • Guests should arrive in time to park and be seated in the arena no later than ten minutes before the start of each ceremony. No one will be admitted during the processional.

  • AU is committed to improving the health and well-being of our community and is proud to be a tobacco- and smoke-free campus.

  • Any graduate or guest exhibiting disruptive behavior during line-up or the ceremony, as determined by university commencement staff or Public Safety, are subject to removal.

  • To ensure the comfort of our guests and in accordance with local fire safety laws, aisles must be kept clear at all times. Guests are asked to cooperate with ushers and public safety officers and to keep designated areas clear. All bags are subject to search, and large signs, banners, and other objects that impede visibility are not permitted.
  • A commercial photographer from GradImages will photograph each student approaching the stage and shaking hands with President Neil Kerwin. Following commencement, GradImages will send proofs and ordering information to students. Please note that parents and guests will not be permitted on or near the stage to take photographs during the ceremony.

  • Each graduate’s name will be announced during the ceremony. The university requests that guests respectfully honor this momentous occasion in a way that enables family and friends to hear each graduate’s name as it is announced. Please refrain from the use of air horns or any other type of noisemaker during the ceremony.

  • The School of International Service and College of Arts and Sciences ceremonies will be approximately 2-1/2 hours in duration. The School of Communication, Kogod School of Business, and School of Public Affairs will run approximately two hours.

  • All AU commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live on american.edu/commencement. Guests are encouraged to use #2017AUgrad on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

After the ceremony:
  • To prevent confusion, please determine in advance where you will meet your party immediately following the ceremony. After the ceremony, each school will host a reception for their graduates and guests. Locations for receptions can be found under Important Dates and Deadlines.