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Spring Commencement

Spring Commencement


January 12, 2016

Spring Commencement Ceremonies

AU’s Spring Commencement ceremonies will be held May 7 and 8, 2016, in Bender Arena:

Saturday, May 7:
  • 9 am School of Communication 
  • 2 pm Kogod School of Business 
  • 7 pm School of International Service 

Sunday, May 8: 

  • 10 am School of Public Affairs 
  • 3 pm College of Arts and Sciences

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Information for May 2016 Graduates

If you intend to graduate in May, you must complete the online Application to Graduate form on the portal. All students, whether or not you plan to attend commencement, must complete this application on the portal. This form is separate from any clearance paperwork that you fill out for your school or college. If you have any questions, contact your academic advisor.

Submission of the graduation application triggers a review of your academic record, puts you on track to receive future commencement mailings and updates, and helps to ensure that your name is listed in the printed commencement program.

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Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests

In mid-December, the Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests was mailed to the permanent home addresses of students expected to graduate in May. The guide includes general information about preparing for commencement, cap and gown rentals, the weekend activities, etc.

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Ceremony Tickets, Remote Viewing, and Live Streaming

Guest tickets are not required for the School of Public Affairs, School of Communication, and Kogod School of Business ceremonies. However, students participating in these ceremonies are asked to limit their guests to no more than seven.

Because of limited seating in Bender Arena, tickets will be required for admittance to the School of International Service Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. and the College of Arts and Sciences on Sunday, May 8 at 3:00 p.m. An allotment of six (6) tickets will be distributed to SIS and CAS students who have rented regalia and registered to participate in the ceremony. SIS and CAS students participating in the ceremony will not need a ticket for themselves. Additional details on ticket distribution will be shared in future Commencement Update emails and will be posted on the commencement website.

Due to the expected attendance at the SIS and CAS ceremonies, we are unable to fulfill any requests for additional tickets. In order to accommodate guests without tickets, the ceremony will be shown live at a remote viewing location in the Ward Circle Building, Rooms 1 & 2, and live-streamed on the commencement website. Graduates seeking additional tickets are encouraged to ask friends within their school/college if they have any extra tickets. Commencement tickets are not to be bought or sold.

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Parking for Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. 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 their school’s commencement ceremony. The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage based on the graduate's school/college. Graduates will receive additional information when they pick up their passes during Cap and Gown Distribution in the Campus Store from May 4 to 7. 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. Note that parking permits issued by AU Transportation Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during commencement weekend.

Satellite parking for guests without parking passes will be available at locations close to campus. Shuttle service will be provided. Additional details will be announced in the coming months.

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Purchase Doctoral Regalia by March 11

Doctoral degree recipients interested in purchasing regalia (approximate cost: $800) should contact associate registrar Michael Hunnicutt (202-885-2232, for information. The deadline to purchase doctoral regalia for commencement is March 11, 2016.

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Senior Class Gift

A senior class gift commemorative pin will be given to students who have generously participated in the 2015-2016 senior class gift. Wearing this pin during commencement shows family, friends, faculty, staff, and alumni that you have chosen to support the future of American University, your alma mater. Consider making a gift towards any area of the university that provided you with purpose, passion, and guidance. Click here for more information.

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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 or 202-885-3413.

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Mailings and Updates

This is the third in a series of updates for students expected to graduate in May 2016. Check the portal to be sure your correct mailing and email addresses are on file. All mailings and updates will be posted on the commencement website.

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Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions regarding the Application to Graduate or other academic-related issues. If you have questions regarding the ceremonies, please contact Lisa Arakaki (202-885-2430) in the Special Events Office or email

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