Frequently Asked Questions

The information below pertains to the graduation celebration being held in October 2021.

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What is the October 2 University Commencement on the National Mall?

University Commencement takes place on the National Mall and is open to all 2020 and 2021 graduates, from associate's, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, to come and celebrate their achievements. This event requires tickets and includes remarks from GW leadership and other speakers.

How is this Commencement on the National Mall different from the May 2020 or 2021 virtual celebrations?

The university-wide virtual celebrations allowed the university to confer degrees and host school and college events as scheduled on the university’s academic calendar. This in-person event on October 2 is the celebration previously promised to graduates that will allow the Classes of 2020 and 2021 to celebrate their achievements in-person with friends, family, and the GW community.

Commencement on the National Mall

When and where is the ceremony on the National Mall taking place?

We will celebrate the Classes of 2020 and 2021 in-person on the National Mall on Saturday, October 2 at 11am between 7th and 14th Streets. More information about the site will be forthcoming.

Will there be separate ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021?  

In order to celebrate this milestone occasion for all graduates who opt to return, we will host one special event that will provide an exciting, engaging experience for all. This joint event will recognize the achievements of each class individually.

In addition to the ceremony on the National Mall, will there be individual school and college celebrations?

The university does not plan to hold school and college graduation celebrations in October. 

Which graduates are being invited to participate in the ceremony on the National Mall?

All graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021, both undergraduate and graduate, are invited to participate in this ceremony.  This includes all graduates from Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021.

If I didn’t participate in the virtual Commencement celebrations in May 2020 and May 2021, can I still participate in the National Mall ceremony?

Yes. You will need to register to confirm your desired participation when registration opens.

If I applied to graduate at the end of summer 2021, can I participate in the National Mall ceremony?

Yes. You will need to register to confirm your desired participation when registration opens.

When does registration open?

Information about registration is forthcoming.

Will guests be able to attend?

Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates will be offered up to four guest tickets.

I am an alum from a class other than 2020 and 2021. Can I attend the Commencement ceremony on the National Mall as a guest?  Do I need a ticket?

Alumni from previous graduating classes are welcome to attend Commencement on the National Mall as guests. Please register with us to confirm your desired participation when registration opens.

Will there be faculty and administration participation? 

Information is forthcoming.

When should graduates and guests arrive at Commencement?

Arrival times for graduates and guests are forthcoming.

Will there be a Commencement speaker?

Yes. More information is forthcoming.

Will there be a speaker from the Classes of 2020 and 2021?

Yes. We will share more information as it is available.

Will GW cover costs for graduates who need to travel back to D.C. for Commencement?

We have negotiated with hotels to provide discounted lodging. Please see hotel information below. 

Hotel Information

There are many options for lodging across the D.C. area, including some options that are close to the National Mall. Be sure to ask any hotel if they offer a discount for the weekend of GW’s Commencement.

In addition, we have worked with Destination DC to secure blocks of rooms at several hotels for October 1 and October 2. See the hotel list below for details.

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Celebrating Online

What if I can’t attend the in-person ceremony on the National Mall?

University Commencement will be live-streamed on the web and social media on the day of the event. Viewing options will be posted on the Commencement homepage in the weeks leading up to the event.

What if I can’t tune in for the Commencement live stream? 

Following the live streaming of the event, a video recording will be posted on the Commencement website for later viewing. Recordings will be posted soon after the original airing.

 

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Alumni & Families Weekend

When is Alumni & Families Weekend?

Alumni & Families Weekend will take place the weekend of October 1, with the October 2 Commencement on the National Mall serving as an in-person celebratory welcome to the alumni community for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.

What activities are taking place during Alumni & Families Weekend?

We will share information about the schedule of events for Alumni & Families Weekend when it becomes available.

How do I register for Alumni & Families Weekend activities? 

Information about registration is forthcoming.