2024 Commencement Reminders

The 163rd Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 13, at 9 a.m. on Francis Olympic Field, rain or shine. Be sure to check the calendar of events for a full schedule of school and affinity ceremonies.

Please read the new policy updates and other important information below and share this email with any guests who plan to attend Commencement. 

WashU has implemented several policy changes for the safety and convenience of our community during the university ceremony as well as the school recognition ceremonies and events.

Policy changes for 2024 Commencement

  • Tickets are now required for all school ceremonies. Schools will communicate and distribute tickets for their individual ceremonies. Please see the calendar of events for school schedules and links to school ceremony webpages. Each guest will need to show proof of an entrance ticket. Students should forward the ticket to their guests.
  • A clear bag policy will be enforced. Guests are strongly encouraged not to bring bags. Only the following types of bags will be allowed:
    • Clear plastic bags, not to exceed 14 in. x 14 in. x 4 in. Clear bags will be available and free of charge in parking locations and at the ceremony entrances for those who need them.
    • Small clutch-type wallets or purses not to exceed 4 in. x 6 in. Diaper bags are allowed for those with small children but will be inspected.
    • Medically necessary equipment is permitted after inspection.
  • The following items are prohibited in all university and school ceremonies and events and are subject to confiscation:
    • Air horns and other artificial noisemakers
    • Animals, except assistance animals
    • Banners or signs larger than 2 feet x 3 feet (no poles of any kind will be allowed)
    • Food and drink (except water) 
    • Firearms and weapons
    • Laser lights
    • Balloons, glitter, and confetti
    • Unmanned aircraft/drones

Important information for you

  • Register for Commencement, if you haven’t already.
  • Regalia is required to participate in the ceremony. 
  • Graduates may not bring any bags of any type onto Francis Olympic Field or into the school ceremonies.
  • Allow ample time to arrive at your school’s assembly point by 7:45 a.m.
  • The procession will begin promptly at 9 a.m.
  • The ceremony will conclude around 11 a.m. All graduates will recess from Francis Olympic Field and should arrange to meet guests elsewhere on campus.
  • An all-school Commencement festival will follow the ceremony and conclude at 3 p.m.
  • University photos will be posted on Widen and videos on YouTube.
  • Help the Career Center help you! Please take a moment to report your plans.

Important information for your guests

Know before you go

  • Guests are encouraged to arrive early to allow adequate travel time from campus parking areas to Francis Olympic Field. The field gates will open at 6:30 a.m.
  • Guests should be in their seats by 8:45 a.m. If you arrive after 8:45 a.m., you will need to enter gate 5, located just south of the main gate.
  • Guests should bring a reusable water bottle to refill at water stations throughout campus. No food or beverages, other than water, will be allowed on Francis Olympic Field.

Getting to campus

  • Please review the campus map and detailed transportation and accessibility information.  
  • We strongly encourage guests to take a hotel shuttle, taxi, or ride-sharing service
  • Guests may park in the Snow Way, Millbrook, Shepley, Wallace, and East End garages.
  • Accessible parking is available to those displaying a state-issued accessible placard or license plate in the Danforth University Center (DUC) Garage, accessible via Forsyth Boulevard at Wallace Drive. 

Attending or viewing the ceremony

Visit our FAQ page for more information. If you have a Commencement question that needs a quick answer, scan the QR code below to text Tassel, our AI Chatbot!

Your WashU Commencement team