University Commencement guests sitting with umbrellas

Alternate Site Plan

University Commencement is held rain or shine on the National Mall on Sunday, May 19th. The university has a comprehensive Alternate Site Plan in place should extreme circumstances dictate changes. If there is a change to the Commencement on the National Mall schedule because of severe weather or an emergency situation, information will be communicated to the campus community through the following ways: 

  • GW Alert (text and email) NOTE: All GW community members automatically received GW Alert emails. Graduating students should visit the GW Alert FAQs to sign up for GW Alert text messages and to add up to three additional email addresses or mobile phone numbers of family members who may want to receive GW emergency alerts during Commencement week.
  • GW's homepage and Campus Advisories
  • GW Information Line (202-994-5050), Virginia Science and Technology Campus Information Line (571-553-8333), and School of Medicine and Health Sciences Information Line (202-994-2196)

  • Social media via Twitter and Facebook

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 will begin at 11:00 a.m. Doors open at 10:00 a.m.
  • Families and guests are encouraged to view the full ceremony online at