Sunday, May 17, 2015
Bender Arena
1:00 PM

Click here for highlights from the 2014 Commencement ceremony including videos and a list of award recipients.

Commencement Information

WCL's ceremony will be held in Bender Arena on Sunday, May 17. The event will begin promptly at 1:00 pm (doors open at noon). The ceremony will last approximately two hours, and will be followed by a reception on the AU Quadrangle. Tickets are not required.

Commencement Celebration

Dean Claudio Grossman cordially invites graduates, their family, and their friends on behalf of the Washington College of Law community to a reception being held to honor our 2015 graduating class. The commencement reception will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Organization of American States, located at the 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. This is a great opportunity to celebrate our graduates' accomplishments in a spectacular setting. As one of the nicest buildings in Washington, DC, the OAS is the proper place to acknowledge their efforts and achievements in the presence of their families and the WCL community.

Please note that there is a limit of five guests per graduate (a total of six including the graduate) to the reception.

More information including how to RSVP will be posted in the spring 2015 semester.

Application for Graduation

Candidates for degrees should file a Notice of Intent to Graduate Form in the Office of the Registrar during the registration period at the start of their final semester of study. See MyWCL for deadline information. Only after application for graduation has been made can the Office of the Registrar begin processing the necessary information for final clearance for graduation. Students who fail to complete all degree requirements by the end of the term for which they applied to graduate must reapply in order to graduate later. The law school grants degrees at the end of each Summer, Fall, and Spring term. Commencement ceremonies are held in May to recognize students completing their degrees in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Students file an application to graduate for Summer, Fall, or Spring as they register for what they expect is their final term of study. The application triggers a review of the student's academic record to determine whether or not it is possible for the student to complete degree requirements at the end of that term. Students whose records indicate they are on schedule to graduate at the end of the term for which they have applied are invited to commencement.


Updated 10/15/2014

We have made arrangements with the following hotels for discounts:

  • Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase: (May 15-May 18) $119 per night, plus tax on Friday May 15, 2015 and Saturday May 16, 2015; and $219 plus tax on Sunday May 17, 2015. When booking your reservation online you will notice a rate of $219 for all 3 nights. This is due to the fact that only 1 rate can be entered when creating a reservation link for online reservations under a group lock. Rest assured once the reservation has been made, a member from the sales department will manually change the rate for Friday May 15th and Saturday May 16th to the contracted rate. If you have any questions please feel free to contact hotel reservationist, Monet Adams, at 301-828-3364 x7009.

  • Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel: (May 16 ONLY) $209 per night. This rate does not include taxes or parking. To make reservations, call 202-328-2000 and identify yourself as a member of the American University College of Law Commencement Room Block. Must make reservations before April 24th.

  • Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion: (May 15-May 18) $209.00 per night for King-bedded suites and $234 for Double-bedded suites. This rate does not include taxes or parking. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at 202-362-9300 and asking for the American University 2015 Commencement block. Reservations can also be made online at with the group code AMC. Reservations must be made by April 15th.

Academic Regalia

Information on how to order regalia will be posted in the spring 2015 semester.


Commencement Ceremony

Graduating LL.M. students should be robed and at the Amphitheater no later than 11:30 am for the group photo. Graduating J.D. students should be robed and at the Amphitheater no later than 11:45 am for the group photo. You will line up alphabetically for the academic procession at 12:15 pm. The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00 pm.

Access for Persons with Disabilities

  • PARKING: Guests requiring disability parking will be permitted to park in the lots next to the Asbury and Osborn buildings (see campus map). We recommend that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, when doors open to Bender Arena. Disability parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • ACCESSIBLE ENTRANCE: Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before finding parking on campus. This entrance, located on the south side of Bender Arena across from the Asbury Building, allows for ground-level access to the arena floor. Public Safety staff will be present in the parking areas to direct vehicles to this entrance.

  • SPECIAL SEATING: A seating section, located next to the ground-level entrance to Bender Arena, will be available for senior citizens and persons with physical disabilities and their families. Reservations are not required. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters will be provided. View the floor plan including the accessibility seating section.

For further information please call 202-274-4030. Admission tickets are NOT required and seating is open.

Admission tickets are NOT required and seating is open.

Graduation Reception

A reception for graduates and their guests will be held on the university campus quadrangle immediately following the ceremony. Tickets are not necessary.

Your Name

If you think your name might be mispronounced or do not want it read as it is to appear on your diploma, please contact your corresponding program staff member:

  • JD: Dean David Jaffe, 202-274-4030
  • Advocacy LLM: Tahniat Saulat, 202-274-4474
  • International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) LLM: Julie Yorkshire, 202-274-4112
  • Law & Government LLM and SJD: Leesa Klepper, 202-274-4389

Graduation Clearance

You may call the Office of the Registrar (202-274-4080) on Friday afternoon (May 15) AFTER 1PM and we will tell you if you are clear at that time. Also, should a problem arise we will make every effort to call you immediately.

Safety Regulations

American University welcomes all guests. To ensure the comfort of our guests and in accordance with local fire safety laws, aisles must be kept clear at all times. Guests are asked to cooperate with ushers and public safety officers and to keep designated areas clear.

No large bags (backpacks, briefcases, duffel bags, etc.) will be permitted inside Bender Arena. Large signs, banners, noise makers and other objects that impede visibility or sound will not be permitted.