Family member's arm around a recent graduate

More than 15,000 graduates, family members and friends attend the all-university Commencement events each year to celebrate and honor the graduating class.

Coming to Campus

The Commencement ceremony is held at the heart of the Washington University in St. Louis campus: the Brookings Quadrangle. The Quadrangle is formed in part by the walls of the university’s iconic Brookings Hall, on the east side of campus just west of Forest Park and near the intersection of Skinker Blvd. and Forest Park Parkway.

We recommend guests arrive early before the ceremony to allow adequate travel time from campus parking areas to Brookings Quadrangle.

Campus parking is available, but parking is always very crowded on Commencement day. We encourage guests to consider alternate ways to get to campus.


MetroLink, the St. Louis light-rail system, is an alternative to driving and parking at the university. The Metro offers convenient access to both the Danforth and Medical campuses and allows guests to avoid traffic and parking congestion during the Commencement ceremonies.

Danforth Campus

exit at the Skinker Station (located just east of the Brookings Hall parking lot).

Medical Campus

exit at the Central West End Station.

MetroLink information is available on the WashU Parking & Transportation Services website and the MetroLink website, which also has information regarding the St. Louis bus system.

Campus Parking

During Commencement exercises, visitor parking is permitted (without a parking permit) in most of WashU’s above-ground parking garages or surface parking lots. Parking in loading zones, fire lanes or in a accessible parking space without a state-issued disabled parking placard is prohibited. Full details about parking on campus is available on the WashU Parking & Transportation Services website.

Nearby Hotels and Restaurants

There are many places for parents, family and friends to stay during the Washington University in St. Louis Commencement ceremonies. Visit our Nearby Lodging page for more information. For information on restaurants in the area, check out the First Year Center’s 2017 Restaurant Guide (.pdf).

Alumni Weekend Activities

ReUnion at Commencement, sponsored by the Alumni Association, offers a variety of faculty presentations and other special events. These programs are open (on a space permitting basis) to those participating in Commencement activities.

The weekend begins with the 50th Reunion Medallion Ceremony on Thursday, May 14 and continues through Saturday evening. Those wishing to participate should visit the Reunion Welcome Center (at Danforth University Center) upon arriving on campus.