Commencement Celebrations

Please keep checking back and be sure to check your GW email account for important information and instructions about Commencement 2015! Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 graduates should continue to check their personal email accounts for Commencement updates and information.

2015 Commencement Celebrations

CPS Commencement Celebration

The CPS Commencement Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 16th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Charles E. Smith Center. During the CPS Celebration, the name of each graduate is called as the student crosses the stage. 

Marybeth Davies, Manager of DuPont’s Paralegal Program, will deliver the College of Professional Studies Commencement address. 

Immediately following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to a reception in the Marvin Center 3rd Floor Grand Ballroom, 800 21st Street, NW. 

University Commencement Celebration

The University Commencement Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. on the National Mall (between 4th and 7th Streets, NW) rain or shine (on-campus emergency plan will be announced).  This large ceremony consists of a processional, awards and prizes to faculty, conferral of honorary degrees, speakers (student speaker and major public figures), and the official conferral of degrees by the University President. Students' names are not called at this ceremony and students do not walk across the stage. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the George Washington University’s commencement address on May 17th and will be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service.

Additional information regarding the University Commencement Ceremony can be found by visiting the GW Commencement website.

Commencement Weekend Timeline

CPS School Celebration - Saturday, May 16th:

  • 6:30 p.m. - Graduates should arrive wearing regalia at Funger Hall, 2201 G Street, NW (across the street from the Smith Center)

  • 6:45 p.m. - Graduates Line up for Procession

  • 7:30 p.m. - CPS School Celebration

  • CPS Reception immediately following CPS celebration

University Commencement - Sunday, May 17th:

  • 8:30 a.m. - Graduates should arrive wearing regalia and line up by school

  • 9:00 a.m. - All guests should be seated

  • 9:30 a.m. - Academic processions begin

  • 10:00 a.m. -  Ceremony begins

  • 11:30 a.m. - Ceremony concludes


Regalia (cap and gown) is required for all students participating in the CPS School Celebration and University Commencement. Regalia will not be available at the Charles E. Smith Center or on the National Mall. CPS medallions and program-specific cords will only be distributed at the CPS School Celebration - cords and medallions will not be available on the National Mall.

You can now purchase regalia at the GW Campus Store, until Saturday, May 16. The GW Campus Store hours are listed on the GW Commencement Regalia website. Please note that the Campus Store’s hours are limited the week of Commencement.

Please visit the GW Commencement Regalia website for additional information.

Typical commencement attire is business to business casual. 

A word of caution: students will be crossing a roughly-paved street and ascending/descending a number of staircases. We have had several incidents in the past where students wearing high heels have tripped or fallen. And for the Sunday commencement on the National Mall, you will be walking on grass and possibly in muddy areas, depending on the weather. We strongly encourage you to avoid high heels and wear shoes easy to walk in under these circumstances.

Military and veteran students

We have been informed by the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services that they have a special regalia cord for you. This is available for undergraduate and graduate students. 

To receive this cord you must: 

  • Email to identify yourself as an active duty military or veteran service member who is participating in the 2015 Commencement ceremonies. 

  • It is strongly preferred that you make arrangements to pick up your cord in person at the Office of Military and Veteran Students on campus before 3pm Friday, May 15

    Office of Military and Veteran Students 
    Marvin Center 
    800 21st Street NW
    Ground Floor

  • Cords will not be mailed in advance of the Commencement ceremony. 

  • If you live outside of the Metro DC area and your travel arrangements prohibit you from arriving before the early afternoon of Friday, May 15, you may get your cord in the lineup area for the CPS ceremony on Saturday, May 16. You must still email to add your name to the recipients list. Be sure to arrive early for lineup.

If you are a military or veteran student, please arrive at the Student Assembly Area before 6:45pm to receive your cord.

Attending Faculty

Faculty participating in the CPS celebration will convene in the Colonial Club of the Smith Center at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 16th, to prepare for the processional. Light refreshments will be served. Event staff will be present to assist.

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Feuer at or 202-994-8310.


University and School Commencement tickets will begin to be mailed in mid-April to the graduates’ diploma addresses on file upon the completion of the mandatory online graduation survey. Graduates should have received an email with instructions on how to complete the mandatory online graduation survey and claim their tickets. 

Graduates will receive:

  • Six guest tickets for the CPS school celebration

  • Six guest tickets for University Commencement on the National Mall

Please contact the CPS Office for Student Engagement at 703-299-4155 or if you have any questions.

Change of Diploma Mailing Address

If your mailing address changes after you apply for graduation, you must: 

  • Change both your PERMANENT and DIPLOMA addresses in GWeb

  • Email Graduation Services ( to confirm the office has recorded this change.

Please take these steps as soon as possible if your address changes. Diplomas are mailed to the DIPLOMA address you confirm at the time of the application for graduation. If diplomas are returned to the university undelivered, there is a $25 charge to have them mailed again. 

Please review the Graduation Services website for further information concerning diplomas. 


Graduates and guests attending the CPS School Celebration on Saturday evening should review the Charles E. Smith Center parking and transportation website.

The University also provides detailed transportation, accessibility, and parking information for those attending the University Commencement on Sunday morning.


Commencement participants and guests seeking accommodations for Commencement weekend should consult the University’s listing of nearby hotels.


All campus buildings are wheelchair-accessible. If you have questions about accommodations for graduates or guests who are wheelchair users or have severe mobility disabilities attending the CPS School celebration in the Charles E. Smith Center, please contact CPS directly at 703-299-4155.

Sign language interpreters can be provided at the CPS School celebration on an as needed basis. Please complete a Special Events Interpreter Form before Friday, April 17, 2015, to request an interpreter at the CPS celebration.

Graduates and guests attending the University Commencement on the National Mall should visit the University Commencement Accessibility website for details regarding wheelchair accessibility and sign language interpreters.

Graduation Photos

GradImages will provide professional photography services at the CPS School Celebration.  Graduates will receive a notification via email as well as a paper proof in the mail shortly following the ceremony. Images should be available to view and order within three to seven days after the event.  Orders can be placed online at or by phone at 800-261-2576

Additionally, graduates and their families can Pre-Register with updated contact information as well as additional email addresses and mailing addresses for family and friends. By completing the pre-registration, you’ll receive a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more.

More information about GradImages can be found on GradImages’ Information for Graduates website.