Commencement Information

Commencement 2022 Information

AUWCL's ceremony will be held in Bender Arena on Sunday, May 22. 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 in the Mary Graydon Center adjacent to Bender Arena. Tickets are required.

During the Commencement ceremony, view the live webcast here.

Saturday Commencement Brunch

Graduates have received an email inviting them to the Saturday afternoon reception on the WCL Campus.

Commencement Eligibility

August 2021 graduates (who have not already participated in last year's ceremony), December 2021 graduates, and May 2022 graduates are invited to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on May 22, 2022.

Prospective August 2022 graduates may participate in the ceremony with approval from the Dean of Students, David Jaffe. Students must be fewer than 8 credits from the degree requirement, and registered for the necessary credits during the summer term. Submit the Commencement Ceremony Participation Request form for approval to attend this year's ceremony.

Only the names of August 2021, December 2021, and May 2022 graduates will appear in the printed commencement program. Names of August 2022 graduates will appear in the following year's program.

If you are not planning to attend the ceremony, please notify registrationservices@wcl.american.edu.

Graduation Week

The Student Bar Association will plan activities the week prior to the Commencement Ceremony for graduating students to help celebrate this achievement!

Hotel Accommodations

For Commencement 2022: We have made arrangements with the following local hotels.

Parking

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.

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

Good Neighbor Policy

In accordance with Washington, DC, regulations and the University’s “Good Neighbor Policy,” all guests, students, faculty, and staff driving to campus for the commencement ceremonies are required to park in a designated parking garage with the appropriate parking pass. Parking is prohibited on all neighborhood streets while visiting any university property.

Academic Regalia

To place an order to rent your academic regalia, please visit https://hjgradwalk.com/aulaw/ (portal will open no later than March 1) and search for American University. From there, select Spring Commencement, then Washington College of Law, and Doctorate for JD graduates or Masters for LLM and MLS graduates. Feel free to stop by the Office of Student Affairs in C101 if you need to use a Herff Jones Cap measurer to help select the correct cap size.

Regalia must be ordered online. The last day to order regalia at the best price is April 4, 2022. The cost for regalia and shipping both increase for the final order date of April 18, 2022.

PICK-UP OF REGALIA: Graduates who did not have regalia shipped to their home must pick up regalia from the AU campus store during the following days/times:

  • Friday, May 20 11am-5pm
  • Saturday, May 21 11am-5pm

Please bring an ID (AUID or government-issued). Proxies can pick up on another student's behalf: proxies should bring a copy of the other student's receipt and be prepared to sign on the other student's behalf.

RETURN OF REGALIA: Regalia can be returned to the AU campus store on Sunday, May 22 no later than 5pm. Graduates who ordered regalia for home delivery can return the regalia via return mail (shipping labels were provided in your order). The University requires that we hold transcripts and bar forms of those who do not return regalia.

Graduates who are unable to return their regalia by the deadline, 5/22 at 5pm, can return regalia via mail to the following address. Graduates who do not return regalia in a timely manner may face additional fees.

Herff Jones, Inc. Cap and Gown Division
1000 N Market St.
Champaign, IL 61820

DUAL-DEGREE: Students graduating with dual degrees pay the rental for the JD regalia and then bring the JD receipt to the main campus regalia distribution. HerffJones will fill your dual degree (e.g. MBA, MA) order out of the spare regalia.

For information about how to wear your cap and gown, an instructional video is available. Note that tassels should be worn on the right when the ceremony begins.

Contact the Student Affairs Office at studentaffairs@wcl.american.edu or 202-274-4030 if you have any questions.

Commencement Ceremony

All graduating students should be robed and at Bender Arena no later than 11:30 am. You will line up alphabetically for the academic procession. The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00 pm.

Special Needs Access

  • PARKING: Guests requiring disability parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Garage. 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. To utilize this entrance or the accessible parking, enter campus from the Fletcher Gate (see map for details).

  • 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.

Admission tickets are required and seating is open. For further information please call 202-274-4030.

Graduation Clearance

Expect a confirmation email of your degree clearance from the Registrar before the end of business on Friday, May 20, 2022.

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.