Media Advisory: Washington University Commencement is Friday, May 20

Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate, Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, to deliver address to Class of 2011

WHAT: Washington University’s 150th Commencement. The university will award 2,843 degrees to 2,719 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The university also will bestow honorary degrees on five individuals.

WHO: • Elie Wiesel, a Nobel laureate, Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, will deliver the 2011 Commencement address. The title of his talk is “Memory and Ethics.”

• During the ceremony, Wiesel also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Washington University’s four other honorary degree recipients and their degrees are: John H. Biggs, PhD, former CEO of TIAA-CREF and former vice chancellor for administration and finance at Washington University, doctor of humane letters; Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., the oldest technological university in the United States, doctor of science; Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, doctor of science; and George W. von Mallinckrodt, KBE, president of Schroders plc, a global asset management company, doctor of laws.

WHERE: Brookings Quadrangle, which is directly west of Brookings Hall, the university’s main administration building that sits on the hill overlooking Forest Park.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2011

MEDIA RESERVED SEATING: News organizations sending a reporter to Commencement need to call Sue Killenberg McGinn by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, to make arrangements for a reserved-seating ticket. Mult boxes will be available at the seats and near the Beaumont Pavilion stage. The reserved media seats are in the Chancellor’s section, which is at the north end of the Quad on the right-hand side of Beaumont Pavilion.

MEDIA PARKING: Reserved media parking is available near the south end of Brookings Hall. Take Forsyth Boulevard or Forest Park Parkway to Hoyt Drive; take Hoyt to south leg of the circle drive that leads up to Brookings Hall, where a parking attendant will direct you. Please show attendant a media ID.

LIVE TV BROADCASTS: To reserve live TV parking close to the stage, trucks must be in place by 6 a.m. Friday; otherwise live trucks will have to park at the opposite end of the Quad. TV stations who plan to shoot live from Brookings Quad need to make arrangements with Liam Otten. Please call (314) 935-8494 on May 19 or (314) 324-2076 on May 20.

VIOLENT WEATHER PLAN: Commencement will be held outside rain or shine. However, in case of violent weather, Commencement for undergraduates will be held in the Athletic Complex’s Field House, still beginning at 8:30 a.m. If the violent weather schedule is necessary, media will be notified by 7 a.m. Friday.

For more information the morning of Commencement, call Sue Killenberg McGinn at (314) 603-6008.

HIGHLIGHTS: To view WUSTL’s Gallery of Outstanding Graduates, go to