AU is committed to improving the health and well-being of our community and is proud to be a tobacco- and smoke-free campus. No smoking is permitted anywhere on 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. No large bags (backpacks, briefcases, duffel bags, etc.) will be permitted inside Bender Arena. All bags are subject to search, and large signs, banners, balloons, and other objects that impede visibility are not permitted.
AU's Fall Commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 17, at 10 am, in Bender Arena on campus. Guests attending the ceremony will require tickets.
Before the ceremony
- The doors to Bender Arena will open approximately 45 minutes before the start of the 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. Doors will re-open following the National Anthem and Invocation.
- All AU commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live on american.edu/commencement.
- Guests are encouraged to use #2017AUgrad on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
During the Ceremony
- The student processional will begin approximately ten minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Entry to the Arena will not be permitted during the processional. Doors will re-open following the National Anthem and Invocation.
- A commercial photographer from GradImages will photograph each student approaching the stage and shaking hands with President Sylvia Burwell. Following commencement, GradImages will send proofs and ordering information to students' AU email addresses. 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 ceremony will run approximately two hours.
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.