Update on 2021 Commencement Celebrations

February 04, 2021

To the George Washington University Community:

Throughout this pandemic, our students have demonstrated an inspiring commitment to discovering new and meaningful ways to come together as a community.  As we head into the spring, we know one of the most important opportunities to come together is during graduation, and many at our university are working hard to create a rich and engaging virtual Commencement experience that celebrates our graduates.

At the same time, we recognize the strong desire to gather in person to the extent safely possible to mark this important milestone.  While we continue to plan virtual university-wide Commencement and school celebrations, we also are exploring all options for any in-person component we may safely host.

Over the next few weeks, Provost Blake is consulting with the university’s academic and administrative leadership and will convene a group of student leaders to discuss the unique opportunities we have to make our virtual celebrations special and explore all feasible possibilities for a safe in-person component to graduation.  This work will be informed by feedback from our community, public health and safety experts, and D.C. guidelines.  As part of any recommendation in this process, we will host a university-wide celebration on May 16 and school celebrations May 12-16 that will be accessible in a virtual or hybrid format.

While the challenges of the pandemic are not yet over, we have reasons to be optimistic this year.  We are confident that we will find innovative ways to celebrate our graduates, and we are committed to considering all options for an in-person component.  We will share another update with the GW community by mid-March.

Stay safe and stay well.


Thomas J. LeBlanc

M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs