University Commencement guests sitting with umbrellas

Alternate Site Plan

University Commencement is held rain or shine on the National Mall. The National Mall is a public space under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. We are grateful for the use of the mall, and graduates, families, and guests are reminded that use of the space is not under the exclusive control of the university. The university has a comprehensive Alternate Site Plan in place for Commencement should extreme circumstances dictate changes.

If the Alternate Site Plan is implemented:

  • All graduates, faculty and platform party should report to the Charles E. Smith Center, 600 22nd Street NW. The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
  • Families and guests are encouraged to view the full ceremony online at

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, in the event of a change to Commencement on the National Mall, information will be posted to Campus Advisories. Updates and changes also will be communicated via GW Alert (text and email), GW Information Line at 202-994-5050, and on Twitter and Facebook.