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In-Person Commencement Procession For Graduates Only

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 our full schedule and FAQs for more information.

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. 

The In-Person Commencement Procession sessions and all participants will follow comprehensive COVID-19 protocols including adhering to local government travel restrictions, completing the In-Person Commencement Procession Health and Safety Acknowledgment form prior to arrival on campus, wearing face coverings while on campus, and maintaining physical distancing. Graduates are asked not to participate if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. Graduates must agree to follow these and other health and safety guidelines upon registration.

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.

The University will continue to monitor health and safety conditions and follow guidelines set by local and federal government authorities. We will notify graduates as soon as possible if plans for the In-Person Commencement Procession experiences need to be altered.

We appreciate the feedback received from our graduates and family members over the past several months. While this experience will be different from our traditional commencement ceremonies, we are excited to provide an opportunity for graduates to mark this important occasion with the combination of online celebrations and an In-Person Commencement Procession for those who feel comfortable coming to campus. Thank you for their dedication, commitment, and patience as we worked to provide a safe opportunity to honor their achievements.