- Published Date:
Dear Howard University Community,
We are excited to salute all candidates who completed their degree and financial requirements as of Summer 2021, December 2021 and May 2022, and welcome parents, friends and alumni to campus for Howard University’s 154th Commencement Convocation!
The National Weather Service has issued an advisory for intermittent storms on Saturday, May 7 in the Washington Metropolitan area. Projections indicate thunderstorm activity, combined with wind gusts and a high-temperature mark of 57 degrees. For the comfort and safety of our graduates and guests who will convene to celebrate in the University’s finest hour, we are implementing our inclement weather plan and moving Commencement indoors. The Commencement Convocation location is now Burr Gymnasium, located at 6th Street and Girard Street NW, Washington DC 20059.
We extend our most sincere apologies to the graduates and guests and hope that the following outline of contingencies allow for an enjoyable Commencement experience.
Assembly of Degree Candidates
Degree candidates should still plan to assemble in the Burr Gymnasium. Please arrive at 7 a.m. Upon entering the main gymnasium, all graduates should look for their respective school or college banner to sit with their fellow graduates.
Please be advised that all guests are now required to view the Commencement Convocation from simulcast viewing locations across campus. Doors to the simulcast viewing locations will open at 7:30 a.m. In accordance with the Inclement Weather Plan, we will no longer be able to accommodate all reserved tickets. Only guests with VIP tickets will be seated in Burr Gymnasium. There is limited seating capacity, so we encourage all visitors to arrive early. Reserved tickets will only be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis at our satellite locations. We encourage all guests to arrive early.
All guests are required to present a ticket to receive entry to the satellite viewing locations. Guests with a VIP ticket will be seated in the John H. Burr Gymnasium.
On-campus Satellite Viewing Locations
John H. Burr Gymnasium – Lower Level;
School of Business Auditorium; and
School of Social Work Auditorium.
The following lots will be open to the public starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. No parking permit will be required. Parking will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Banneker South – 2345 Sherman Ave. NW;
East Towers – 2200 8th St. NW;
Howard Center – 2235 8th St. NW;
Bethune Annex 1 – 515 W St. NW;
Drew Hall – 511 Harvard St. NW; and
Georgia Ave. – 2704 Georgia Ave. NW.
Commencement Shuttle Service
Complimentary shuttle service will be provided on Saturday, May 7, every 15-25 minutes from 7-9 a.m. and again from noon to 2 p.m. From 7-9 a.m., guests should expect to be picked up from the designated parking facilities and dropped off at Georgia Avenue and Fairmont Street NW. From noon to 2 p.m., shuttles will be located at Georgia Avenue and Fairmont Street NW to return guests back to their parking origin. Shuttle service will be provided at the following parking locations:
Howard Center – 2235 8th St. NW;
Shaw/Howard Metro Station; and
Parking for individual school ceremonies.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations
Guests who require ADA accommodations can be dropped off at Burr Gymnasium (entering on Girard Street). Guests with disabilities who are driving can park at the Howard Center parking lot. The Howard University shuttle will transport anyone with disabilities to Georgia Avenue NW and Girard Street NW.
Traffic controllers will be onsite to assist anyone with directions and to help identify parking lot locations. If any guests have Howard-issued disability parking permits, they will be allowed to park in Minor Lot or the School of Business Lot. It is recommended that American Sign Language individuals who do not have a disability parking permit park in one of the Howard University-designated lots and ride the nearest Howard University shuttle to Burr Gymnasium.
Concessions and Bookstore
Concessions will be available to guests throughout the Burr Gymnasium concourse. Representatives from the University Bookstore will be stationed at the front entrance of the gym, and the bookstore will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Commencement day. Complimentary water will be provided for guests at stations throughout the gym.
Commencement will be livestreamed on the Howard University YouTube Channel, WHUR-FM Radio 96.3 MHz and WHUT-TV, Channel 32 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. An encore airing of Commencement will be broadcast this Sunday, May 8 at 9:30 a.m.
This is not a decision we take lightly. Our annual intention is to produce an event worthy of the special effort made by family members and friends from around the world who come to honor the hard work of those earning degrees. Relocating Commencement requires that accommodations typically made for more than 20,000 people be quickly condensed for just over 2,500. But as we consider the conditions that could compromise both the solemnity and joy that this occasion is designed to provide, the administration believes that the spirit of Commencement and the memories it will create are better served without weather as a distraction or potential hazard.
As we continue to monitor forecasts and provide necessary updates on any operational or schedule changes, we encourage graduates and guests to regularly monitor commencement.howard.edu, email, WHUR and Bison SAFE for accurate information. We thank you for your understanding, patience and support, and hope that this Commencement experience affirms for you and your family that Howard will always be with you in the journey ahead.