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

2015 Commencement
Click the image above for this year's Commencement Guide

We are pleased to share that alumnus Tom Goldstein '95 will be our Commencement speaker for the spring 2015 graduation on May 17!

Mr. Goldstein is an accomplished appellate advocate, and is known as one of the nation's most experienced U.S. Supreme Court practitioners. He has served as counsel to the petitioner or respondent in roughly 10 % of all the Court's merits cases for the past fifteen years, personally arguing 34. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Goldstein has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade.

He is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog - a web-site devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court - which is the only weblog ever to receive the prestigious Peabody Award. Through SCOTUSblog he has done more than perhaps any other individual to make information about the Supreme Court readily accessible to anyone who wants it. As an alumnus of WCL, Mr. Goldstein is always ready to contribute with his time and resources as a donor to our school. He has also served as a member of our Dean's Advisory Council for over 10 years.

Download the American magazine app for iPad to read about Goldstein's path to the Supreme Court and to hear more of the SCOTUSblog cofounders's story in his own words.

2015 Commencement Webcast

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. Due to space constraints at the OAS, there will be two ceremonies: one from 5:00 to 7:00pm and one from 8:00 to 10:00pm.

Please send an e-mail to expressing your preference as to which reception you will attend and with the number of guests in your party by Friday, May 8, 2015. Please note that there is a limit of five guests per graduate (a total of six including the graduate) to the reception.

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.


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 1-877-212-5752 and identify yourself as a member of the American University Commencement Room Block. You can also click here to reserve your room(s) online. 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.

  • Crowne Plaza National Airport (May 15-May 17) $144/night for double bedded rooms, $126 for standard king rooms. Block Code: GRA Click here to make your reservation.

  • Holiday Inn National Airport (May 15-May 17) $124/night for double bedded rooms, $108 for standard king rooms. Block Code: GRA Click here to make your reservation.


Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each graduate with their academic regalia. The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage based on the graduate's school/college.

Graduates will receive specific information when they pick up their passes during Regalia Distribution in the Campus Store from May 15 to 17. Parking passes are complimentary; additional passes will not be available for purchase. Note that parking permits issued by AU Transportation Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during commencement weekend. Parking lots are indicated on the campus map.

Overflow parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in satellite parking lots including the Washington College of Law campus. Shuttle service will be provided to and from campus. Additional details will be announced later in the semester.

Please consider the following alternative ways to get to campus:

  • AU Shuttle
  • MetroRail & MetroBus
  • Taxi
  • Uber, Lyft or ZipCar

*For NEW uber users, sign up today and use the promo code AUGRAD2015 for $20 off your first ride

Academic Regalia

To place an order to purchase or rent your academic regalia, please visit and enter American University Washington College of Law as the school. All orders must be placed by Friday, April 10, 2015. Orders placed after April 10th may incur additional fees.

PICK-UP OF REGALIA: Friday, May 15, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday, May 16, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday, May 17, beginning at 9:00 am in the Campus Store (Butler Pavilion) on the main campus above Bender Arena.

RETURN OF REGALIA: Sunday, May 17, following the ceremony, until 6:00 pm, in the Campus Store (Butler Pavilion). The University requires that we hold transcripts and bar forms of those who do not return regalia.


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 with phonetic pronunciations:

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.

Alumnus/a in the Family?

Do you have a family member who is also a WCL alumnus/a attending graduation? If so, Dean Claudio Grossman and the Office of Development & Alumni Relations would like to extend an invitation to a brunch before commencement on May 17.

Please call Emma Wimmer at 202-274-4163, or email with the names of the people who will be attending.