MEDIA ADVISORY: Washington University Commencement is 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 20

Civil rights pioneer John Lewis to deliver address to graduating students

WHAT: Washington University’s 155th Commencement. The university will award 3,117 degrees to 2,970 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The university also will bestow honorary degrees on five individuals.

WHO: U.S. Congressman John R. Lewis, considered one of the most courageous and influential leaders in the civil rights movement, will deliver the 2016 Commencement address. During the ceremony, Lewis will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Washington University’s four other honorary degree recipients and their degrees are:

  • Stephen F. Brauer, chairman and CEO of Hunter Engineering Co. and a former U.S. ambassador to Belgium, doctor of laws;
  • Paula Kerger, president and chief executive officer of PBS, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with 350 member stations throughout the country, doctor of humane letters;
  • Staffan Normark, MD, Swedish physician, microbiologist and infectious disease researcher and member of two of the organizations that help select Nobel laureates, doctor of humanities; and
  • Euclid Williamson, founder of Target H.O.P.E., a nationally acclaimed academic achievement and high school retention model for Chicago area schools, doctor of humanities.

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

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2016

MEDIA RESERVED SEATING: News organizations sending a reporter to Commencement should call Sue Killenberg McGinn by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, to make arrangements for a reserved seat. 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 east 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: TV stations that plan to shoot live from Brookings Quad should make arrangements with Liam Otten. Please call 314-935-8494 (office) on May 19 or 314-874-6331 (cell) on May 20.

SEVERE WEATHER PLAN: Commencement will be held outside rain or shine. However, in case of severe weather, the all-university Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle would be canceled. A ceremony for undergraduates only would move inside to the Athletics Complex Field House and begin at 8:30 a.m. If the severe 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.

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