The chancellor will announce the commencement speaker during the annual senior class toast on Tuesday, April 4.

2016 Commencement Address Speaker – John Lewis

U.S. Congressman John R. Lewis, considered one of the most courageous and influential leaders in the civil rights movement, gave the 2016 Commencement address. Lewis received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree on May 20, 2016.


Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties and building “The Beloved Community” of justice and equality that his mentor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned.

Lewis’ dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress.


2016 Honorary Degree Recipients

Each year, Washington University in St. Louis honors distinguished individuals at the May Commencement ceremony.

2016 Class Acts

A series in recognition of students who are changing the world through research, community engagement and innovation.