May Commencement

header - mortarboards

Commencement 2016

Washington University in St. Louis sealFriday, May 20, 2016
Brookings Quadrangle
8:30 a.m.

Recognition ceremonies and receptions precede or immediately follow the ceremony.

Please remember that tickets are not needed for Commencement in the Brookings Quadrangle. Tickets are only required should the Severe Weather plan be enacted.

The Procession

Candidates should march in front of or behind the person with whom they wish to sit – not side-by-side.

  • By 8 a.m., all candidates must be at the assembly point designated for each school.
  • The procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. sharp, led by the grand marshal, the chancellor, members of the administration, the Board of Trustees, honorary degree recipients, faculty and alumni from the 50th reunion class.
  • The student divisions will follow the procession leaders according to the order shown on the procession order and assembly points chart.

The Ceremony

The program begins with the Commencement address, followed by the presentation and conferral of degrees.

The Academic Recession

  • All graduates will recess from the Quadrangle under the direction of the Commencement marshals.
  • Graduates should arrange to meet friends and relatives at the recognition ceremony locations or at a point not immediately adjacent to the Quadrangle to alleviate crowding and enable a quick exit from the ceremony.


Please note that individual pictures of each student at each of the school recognition ceremonies will be available from professional photographers.

  • Out of consideration for others, parents and guests may not come to the front of the stage or stand on the ramps leading to the stage for pictures during the ceremony.
  • The northeast corner of the Quadrangle features a roped-off area designated for photography. Parents and guests are encouraged to enter this area, take a picture and return to their seats as quickly as possible so that others may have the same opportunity.

Alternate Viewing Locations

Guests who wish to remain indoors during Commencement can find closed-circuit viewing at the following accessible locations located near Brookings Quadrangle:

  • January Hall, Room 110
  • Brown Hall, Room 100
  • Brown Hall, Room 118

For building location, please consult the Danforth Campus map.

Sign Language & Accessibility

An American Sign Language interpreter will be present during Commencement and during individual school ceremonies.

For information on parking and Quadrangle access, please consult the Accessibility page.


Help celebrate the Class of 2016 by sharing your tweets, photos, and videos using our official commencement hashtag.