Policy changes planned for Commencement

graduates at Commencement
Students pose for a photo at the 2022 Commencement celebration. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

Final preparations are underway for Washington University in St. Louis’ 163rd Commencement ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. May 13 on Francis Olympic Field. The ceremony is a celebration of the accomplishments and perseverance of the Class of 2024.

WashU has implemented several policy changes for the safety and convenience of guests during the universitywide ceremony as well as the school recognition ceremonies. Chief among them:

Graduates may not bring bags onto Francis Olympic Field or into the school ceremonies.

Guests are strongly encouraged not to bring bags. Only the following types of bags will be allowed:

  • Clear plastic bags, not to exceed 14-by-14-by-4 inches. Clear bags will be available in parking locations and at the ceremony entrance for those who need them.
  • Small clutch-type wallets or purses not to exceed 4-by-6 inches.
  • Diaper bags are allowed for those with small children, but will be inspected.
  • Medically necessary equipment is permitted after inspection.

The following items are prohibited in all university and school ceremonies and are subject to confiscation:

  • Air horns and other artificial noisemakers
  • Animals (except assistance animals)
  • Banners or signs larger than 2 feet by 3 feet (no poles will be allowed)
  • Food and drink (except water)
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Laser lights
  • Balloons, glitter and confetti
  • Unmanned aircraft and drones

In addition, the universitywide Commencement May 13 and all school ceremonies will require tickets to enter.

Learn more about all of these policy changes on the Commencement website. Graduates also have received additional instructions to share with their guests.

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