Celebration Days & Commencement FAQs
What is the difference between Celebration Days and Commencement?
Celebration Days are a series of program and section-specific ceremonies hosted on the Law Center campus on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. Graduates will hear remarks from Dean Treanor, a faculty speaker, a student speaker, and the names of each candidate for graduation will be read aloud as they cross the stage for individual recognition.
The Commencement Ceremony is a Law Center-wide event happening on Sunday, May 19, on the Hilltop Campus, in which students process onto Healy Lawn (37th & O Streets, NW). Dean Treanor and our honorary degree recipient will address the class, and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia will ceremoniously confer degrees. Please note: Graduating students do not walk across the stage at the Sunday Commencement Ceremony.
When should graduates arrive for each ceremony?
Celebration Days will take place on the Law Center campus on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. Participants should plan on arriving 30 minutes before the start of your scheduled ceremony start time and check-in at the Hotung Atrium for robing and line-up.
The Commencement Ceremony will take place on the Hilltop campus and begins promptly at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. The ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes, including the academic procession which starts promptly at 2:30 p.m. Graduates should plan to arrive at the Hilltop Campus by 1:30 p.m. for robing and line-up.
J.D. students will robe and line-up in Dahlgren Quad and graduate students (LL.M., S.J.D., M.L.T., M.S.L.) will robe and line-up in the David Arts Center.
How long are the Commencement Ceremony and Celebration Days ceremonies?
The Commencement Ceremony will take place on the main campus in Georgetown at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2024. The ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes, including the academic procession that starts at 2:30 p.m.
Celebration Days are the individual section and program- specific ceremonies on the Law Center campus happening on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18. The schedule for the Celebration Days events can be found here. Celebration Days events are approximately an hour to 90 minutes for the ceremony and reception.
Can I bring guests? Are tickets required?
Graduates are welcome to invite as many guests as they would like for both the Celebration Days and the Commencement Ceremony.
For the Celebration Days events, we anticipate there will be enough seating under the tent on the Eleanor Holmes Norton Green to accommodate all guests, and seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be standing room outside the tent as well as various livestreaming locations across the Law Center campus. Guests are welcome to attend the reception on the Paul R. Dean Library Green after each ceremony.
There are no seating limits for guests at the Sunday, May 19, Commencement Ceremony on Hilltop Campus’ Healy Lawn. However, the number of guests will be limited if inclement weather should force us to move the Commencement Ceremony indoors.
Will we have student speakers at Commencement?
The SBA President will speak at Commencement, along with Dean Treanor, our honorary degree recipient, and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia.
We will have student speakers at each of the Celebration Days events. Information on applying to be a speaker at Celebration Days will be available later this spring.
Regalia: How do I rent, pick up, and return regalia?
Graduates can order their Commencement regalia through Josten’s website.
The priority deadline to order regalia is Friday, March 8. The final deadline to order is Saturday, March 30.
Regalia orders will be ready for pick up at the Law Center Bookstore starting May 13, through Saturday, May 18, during regular business hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Law Center Bookstore will also be open on Saturday, May 18, the only Saturday opening.
If you need to make special accommodations to pick-up your regalia outside of normal business hours, or anyone who missed the deadline to pre-order regalia, please contact the bookstore at email@example.com (preferred) or call 202-662-9676.
Please note: graduates are not required to wear regalia to participate in any event.
What if I want to attend a different or additional Celebration Days section or program?
If these past couple of years have taught us anything, it is the importance of flexibility and creativity. Graduates are always welcome to attend another section or program ceremony, whether it is in place of their assigned time (switch a section), or in addition to their original ceremony (so guests can hear their graduate’s name read and see them walk across the stage). Please fill out this form to request any changes to your assigned times.
Are we having a Graduation Gala?
Yes! The Gala will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 8:00 p.m. at the National Portrait Gallery. Each graduate will be able to have up to three guests at the event, but space is limited. Dress is black tie optional. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for more information about registration.
I am a Georgetown Law alum. Can I present a Class of 2024 graduate with his/her/their diploma?
Georgetown Law alumni are welcome to participate in a graduate’s Celebration Days event. Please fill out this form to request to participate, and we will be in touch with additional details.
*Please note that diplomas will not be presented at Celebration Days events or Commencement, but will be shipped directly to graduates after degrees have been conferred.
Will I receive my diploma at the Commencement Ceremony or Celebration Days event?
We will not present diplomas at the Celebration Days events or Commencement, but diplomas will be shipped directly to graduates after degrees have been conferred. The Registrar’s Office will send prospective Spring 2024 graduates additional information and diploma delivery instructions in April.
Will the Celebration Days events and the Commencement Ceremony be live streamed?
Can my family come from abroad to attend the Celebration Days and Commencement?
Yes! However, if your family is traveling to the United States, they will need a visa to enter and stay for the duration of graduation.
What kind of visa will my family need?
If your family members are not eligible for the visa waiver program, then they will need to apply for B-2 tourist visas to enter the United States to attend commencement ceremonies.
What if I am from a visa waiver program country?
Will Georgetown provide me with a letter of invitation for the visa process?
The University does not issue commencement invitation letters for visa purposes. The Department of State has indicated that a letter of invitation would not be helpful during the visa application process. A letter written by you may be beneficial. Our colleagues on the Main Campus have created an invitation letter template that you can use to create a letter inviting your family members to visit for commencement. That template is available here.
Can I walk with my child?
Children may not sit in the graduate candidate seating, but children are permitted to walk with the parent / graduate candidate as they cross the stage for recognition. You may arrange to meet a partner at the steps at the right of the stage.
What is the bag policy?
While there is no official policy on the size limit and type of bags that guests may bring, we recommend that guests carry small bags for personal items during the ceremonies and to be mindful of other guests’ personal space. There are no secure storage locations for your bags, purses, coats, etc., during the ceremonies.
Is someone taking professional photos at Celebration Days?
There will be a photographer present to take a photo as you cross the stage and receive your scroll at Celebration Days. You will be sent a link to your photo several days after the ceremony.
Is there parking available for Commencement events?
Law Center: Parking is not available on the Law Center campus. If you are using a rideshare, please use 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W. and enter campus at the Eleanor Holmes Norton Green. There are also a number of parking garages within a few blocks of campus.
University’s Hilltop Campus: Parking around the Hilltop Campus is very limited. You may park in the Southwest Quadrangle garage (no charge) or behind Lauinger Library in Lot 9. Please visit the Commencement Travel and Parking website for more details.
What happens in the case of inclement weather?
Celebration Days will take place rain or shine! If weather is severe we will notify you via email and Hoya Alert (text) with any changes. In case of severe weather on Sunday, the Commencement Ceremony will move indoors to the McDonough Arena. Please note this may impact the number of guests allowed to attend. More details on inclement weather plans will be shared via email.
I'm getting emails about a Class of 2024 mug, how do I get one?
Students who participate in the Graduating Class Gift Campaign by making a minimum $10 donation to support financial aid, student groups, clinics, or other causes at the Law Center are eligible to receive a special Class of 2024 mug. The mug is an extra thank you for your generosity and support of the Law Center.
You can make a gift here: give.georgetown.edu/lawgift
What is the Graduating Class Gift Campaign?
The campaign is aimed at encouraging graduating students to support scholarships and/or other causes at the Law Center that are important to them in honor of graduation.
This tradition began over 30 years ago with the Class of 1991, who wanted to ensure that future students would have access to the same quality experiences they benefited from.
Success for the Graduating Class Gift Campaign is measured by class participation. Our goal this year is to break 70%.