#GWCommencement; happy groups of graduates in regalia



Countdown to University-wide Commencement:

GW Commencement Celebrations 2021



University-wide Celebration
Sunday, May 16, 2021
1:00 p.m.



School Celebrations
Wednesday, May 12 - Sunday, May 16, 2021
View schedule



Update on 2021 Commencement Celebrations

When it is safe to do so, the university will host in-person celebrations on the National Mall to honor the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020.

This May, we look forward to honoring our 2021 graduates virtually, with some in-person elements. Please see the FAQs for more information about our May 2021 celebrations.

Please email [email protected] with questions.



Lonnie Bunch



Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian

University Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

With nearly 40 years as a leader in the historical and cultural community, Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, overseeing 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and many research and education centers. Mr. Bunch previously served as the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, one of the Smithsonian museums. A widely-published author on topics ranging from the Black military experience to diversity in museum management, he has held other influential museum roles in D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago. Mr. Bunch served as a museum studies and history professor at GW from 1990 to 2000.


Nelson Carbonell



Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., Engineer, Entrepreneur, Business Executive

Honorary Degree Recipient

After co-founding software company Cysive in 1993 in the basement of his home, entrepreneur Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., B.S. '85, grew the tech company to 500 employees and exceeded revenues of $50 million before taking the company public in 1999. He regularly shares his business strategy expertise on a variety of topics at universities, seminars and conferences, as well as with the press, industry, and financial analysts. Currently the president and CEO of consulting firm, Nelson Carbonell & Associates, Mr. Carbonell serves on a variety of boards and is the former chairman of the board of trustees at GW.



Celebrate Anywhere; Photo of a yard sign congratulating a graduate

Get Ready to Celebrate

Wherever you celebrate on Commencement day, we’ve created a toolkit of fun ways to help bring the party to you.


Celebrate Pattern