The Catholic University of America

Commencement 2019 Information

Institutes & Special Programs Ceremony

Commencement Day
Information for Graduates

Contact for more information

General Information
Special Needs Seating
Class Picture Order Form
Video Order Form 
Photograph Receiving Diploma 
Photograph Individual Portrait 
Graduation Special

Law School Commencment


Cap and Gowns – If you have not yet ordered your academic regalia, please do so as soon as possible!

All graduates are required, according to University policy, to attend the ceremony and wear academic regalia.  Graduating students who are members of the United States Armed Services are allowed to wear dress uniform in lieu of academic apparel. 
You can order your cap and gowns can online at the link below, but we suggest you first visit or call the University Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Monroe Street to see if they have your size available in stock now. Their number is 202-594-3300. Note that all purchases made online will require pick up at the University Bookstore.
Important Questionnaire!
Please let us know which commencement events you will be attending and the number of guests who will accompany you. We ask that you fill out this survey as soon as possible.
Class of 2019 Graduation Survey: Click here to fill out the Graduation Survey.
Tuesday, April 23
Champagne Toast to the Class of 2019
Our annual toast honoring the Class of 2019 will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Keelty Atrium.
Wednesday April 24 and Thursday April 25 – Grad Committee Event!
Bake Sale Fundraiser (Café) Join Kieran and Gemma as they sell baked goods and other treats to raise money for graduation events.
Friday April 26 – Grad Committee Event!
Happy Hour at Hawthorne6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Join the Class of 2019 for a celebration of the last week of classes. Hawthorne will be providing drink and food specials throughout the night..
Saturday, May 18 – Grad Committee Event!

The Graduation Committee presents A Night at Nat's Park for the Washington Nationals v. Chicago Cubs game @ 7:15 p.m.  Tickets are $18.00  For more information, contact Kevin O’Connell, or Harrison Richards,

Thursday, May 23

Institutes and Special Programs Certificate Ceremony 2:00 p.m.
Byron Auditorium, Law School

A certificate presentation ceremony for students in the Comparative and International Law Institute, the Compliance, Investigations & Corporate Responsibility Program, the Law and Public Policy Program, the Law and Technology Institute, and the Securities Law Program will take place at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow. For further information, please call the Office of Institutes and Special Programs (319-6081) or email Constantia Dedoulis at To RSVP click here.


Mass 4:30 p.m. St. Vincent’s Chapel, John McCormack Road
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated for the graduates at 4:30 p.m. at St. Vincent’s Chapel.  All graduates are invited to attend with family and friends.  Graduates should sit with their families and academic apparel should not be worn to the Mass. If you have a family member who is a Roman Catholic priest and interested in concelebrating the Mass, please contact the Office of Student Life and Special Events or email Joan Vorrasi at no later than May 6th.
Mass Parking: The University garage adjacent to the law school will be open for those attending Mass.
Class of 2019 Friends and Family Celebration 6:00 p.m.
Father O'Connell Hall on the CUA campus.
Grad Committee Event!
Ticket Price: $19.00 per person (kids under 10 free)

This event will feature a buffet dinner for Graduates, Friends and Family. Come celebrate the eve of your graduation, at what promises to be a fun filled evening!  To purchase tickets click here.
Friday, May 24 – Law School Commencement
Graduates report to the Byron Auditorium at 9:30 a.m.
On graduation day, graduates report to the Byron Auditorium at 9:30 a.m., wearing academic regalia. You will receive important instructions and join your classmates for the Class of 2019 before lining up for the academic procession to the Basilica.

Commencement Ceremony 11:00 a.m., Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Seating for guests attending our commencement will begin after 9:30 a.m.  The academic procession will enter the Shrine at 10:50 a.m. 
Reception — approximately 12:45 p.m., University Lawn
Immediately following the Commencement ceremony, Dean Jefferson and the Faculty will host a reception for graduates, families and friends on the lawn.  In case of inclement weather, the reception will be moved indoors.
**The Class of 2019 Graduation Committee is planning a number of events the week prior to Commencement. Please watch for notices from the Committee and updates on this website regarding these activities.

General Information

All graduates are required to attend the ceremony. If you cannot attend, you are required to write a letter to the Provost, Dr. Andrew Abela, requesting permission to be excused.  The letter should indicate the address to which the University Registrar should mail your diploma, and should be sent to Dr. Abela at 103 McMahon Hall, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  20064.  Please send a copy of this letter to Dean Stuart Schept, Registrar, Suite 343, Law School.
Special Needs Seating
We will reserve seats for guests with disabilities.  All special needs tickets must be reserved through the Office of Student Life and Special Events in advance.  The tickets can be picked up after April 16th from Suite 341; or if you prefer, we can mail them to your home.  Note that the wheelchair entrance is located at the front entrance to the Shrine.

If you have any questions or concerns about disability seating or other accommodations, please call us at (202) 319-6126, or email Michele Webster at
The number of guests that you may invite to the ceremony is unlimited.  Although there will be room for all guests of law school graduates at the ceremony, we urge you to have your family arrive early at the Shrine.  We will begin seating guests after 9:30 a.m.

Parking and Shuttle Bus Service 

Parking will be available in the university garage adjacent to the law school on Thursday for the Institutes ceremony and reception and the Mass at St. Vincent’s Chapel.
On Friday, parking will be available in the garage, the university parking lots adjacent to the Shrine and the Shrine parking lot on Harewood Road and Michigan Avenue.  Shuttle buses will run from the front entrance of the Law School to and from the Shrine before and after Commencement for those who wish to park in the Law School garage or are using Metro.

Class Photo, Individual Pictures, and Video Panoramic Visions is a local photography company which specializes in large group events.  Order forms for purchasing the class photo, individual photos and the commencement video are here: Class Photo Order Form and Video Order Form.
The commencement ceremony will be Webcast and will be available for viewing online after 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24.  There will be a link on our Web page, and the link will remain live through mid-August.


Contact us:

Office of Student Life and Special Events, Suite 341
Joan Vorrasi:
Emily Sobieski:
Michele Webster: