Commencement 2017: Celebrating Mason’s Graduates!

Over 7,000 students will be eligible to take part in the 50th annual Spring Commencement and College/School Degree Celebrations at Mason.  The university-wide Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m., and all are invited to attend. At this celebration, the Commencement Speaker, Martin Baron, will address the graduates, and President Angel Cabrera will confer all degrees. Tickets are not required to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

As part of the graduation festivities, each school or college also holds a special degree celebration for its graduates, where each graduate is individually recognized and photographed receiving their degree. Please see the complete schedule for all times and locations of these celebrations. Graduates are encouraged to attend both the official University Commencement and their individual School/College Degree Celebration. Most ceremonies, including Commencement, last approximately two hours.

All campus parking lots will be available for guest parking. Handicapped and special assistance parking is available in Lot A, adjacent to the EagleBank Arena’s South Entrance. Guests are advised not to park at University Mall shopping center, as they may be towed.

Commencement Schedule
Commencement morning begins with students gathering near the Johnson Center. There, they will be greeted by faculty marshals who will guide them to their place in the formal university processional line, which will begin at the iconic George Mason Statue. Members of the Alumni Association will also be on hand to welcome the students with tokens in honor of their soon-to-be alumni status. The festive atmosphere includes light morning refreshments, music, and a visit by President Cabrera. As the processional passes the Mason statue, degree candidates traditionally rub George’s toe for good luck. After the ceremony, it is a tradition to return to the statue for a photo in cap and gown.

Commencement at Mason is a traditional ceremony where graduates and faculty wear academic regalia. Bachelor degree candidates wear a green mortarboard style cap and gown and may add a green tassel to the mortarboard. Master degree candidates also wear a master’s hood that denotes by color the different fields of study. All regalia may be purchased by visiting the University Bookstore.

Personalized announcements, college rings, diploma frames, mugs and other mementos are also available at the University Bookstore. Undergraduate students who have earned honors status will be notified by the Registrar’s Office via email. Those students may wear Mason honor cords, also available at the University Bookstore, to all graduation events.

Diplomas will be mailed to the student’s specified address once all degree requirements are confirmed. This will usually take place five to seven weeks following degree conferral.

Graduation is a special time for both students and their families, and if Events Management can be of any assistance in your student’s transition from Mason this spring, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 703.993.2853 or emailing 

Barbara Lubar
Executive Director
University Events