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2021 Commencement Updates Update on Plans for Spring Commencement Activities

Spring 2021 Commencement Online Celebration

The university-wide Spring 2021 Commencement Celebration for February and May graduates will air on the commencement website and feature an honorary degree speaker, the president’s charge to the graduates, and the conferral of degrees. The online University Celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, May 8 followed by the School Commencement Celebrations.

Registration is not required for the online celebration. A digital program listing the names of graduates and degree candidates (as of early-April) will be available on the commencement site in the days leading up to the celebration. 

The Washington College of Law School Online Celebration is scheduled on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

Spring 2021 School Celebrations with Individual Graduate Recognition

American University’s online school commencement celebrations will be held following the university-wide celebration on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The online school commencement celebration will feature remarks from the dean and student speakers as well individual recognition of each eligible graduate. Eligible students received additional information on how to submit their photo and name pronunciation. See preparing to graduate page for additional information on individual recognition.

The Washington College of Law School Online Celebration is scheduled on Sunday, May 23 after the completion of their exams.

Class of 2020 Commencement Celebration

Class of 2020 graduates (spring, summer, and fall) are invited to cross the stage in Bender Arena to commemorate their graduation on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday May 16, 2021. Please see the full schedule, FAQs and detailed information on our In-Person Commencement Procession page.

The achievements of our Spring and Fall 2020 graduates were celebrated during an online commencement celebration which aired on Saturday, May 9, 2020 and Sunday, December 13, 2020. Videos from the celebration are available in our archive

In-Person Commencement Procession for Graduates 

After extensive planning and safety preparations and coordination with Washington, DC health officials, we are pleased to announce that American University's Spring 2021 and Class of 2020 graduates (spring, summer, and fall) are invited to cross the stage in Bender Arena this May to commemorate their graduation. We hope they will join President Sylvia M. Burwell, Acting Provost Peter Starr, Vice President Fanta Aw, and the respective school and college deans for this in-person recognition opportunity with name readings and graduate photos. 

The In-Person Commencement Processions for Spring 2021 main campus graduates will take place on Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9. The sessions will follow the online University and School Commencement Celebrations scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, May 8. The In-Person Commencement Processions for the Class of 2020 main campus graduates will be Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16. The Washington College of Law School Celebration and In-Person Commencement Processions for both Spring 2021 and all 2020 graduates are scheduled for Sunday, May 23. Please see the full schedule, FAQs and detailed information on our In-Person Commencement Procession page.

Graduates will receive an email to their AU email accounts in the coming days with a unique link to register for a 15-minute In-Person Commencement Procession time slot based on their school. Registration is required for the In-Person Commencement Processions. The deadline for main campus Spring 2021 eligible applicants is 5:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, April 26. The deadline for Class of 2020, WCL 2020, and WCL Spring 2021 has been extended to 5:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, April 30. The deadline extension does not apply to main campus Spring 2021 eligible applicants. We are working as quickly as possible to make this experience memorable for graduates and comply with DC health requirements. Walk-ins will not be permitted. 

Families and friends are invited to watch a livestream of the In-Person Commencement Processions on the commencement site. To limit density on campus and for the health and safety of all participants, guests are not permitted to accompany the graduate to campus.

Park Todd

Former Obama Official & Health Care Entrepreneur Todd Park American University’s 2021 Commencement Speaker

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