Commencement at Washington University in St. Louis represents a coming together of all of the university's different schools and degree programs to celebrate students' achievements.

The university-wide Commencement ceremony is held each spring in Brookings Quadrangle, surrounded by four of the university's oldest buildings: Brookings Hall to the east, Ridgley Hall to the west, Cupples Hall I to the north and Busch Hall to the south. These buildings were built in the very early 1900s and leased to the 1904 World's Fair. Beaumont Pavilion, the outdoor stage, was added in 1965.

The Commencement ceremony is streamed live over the Internet so everyone can experience the joy and pride of watching loved ones graduate from Washington University, even if they are unable to attend in person.


Looking back
Watch the May 2013 Commencement ceremonyVideo

Washington University

and other American universities, public and private, follow the pattern of degree granting developed at the University of Paris, founded about 1100 A.D.

In the early days of the University of Paris,University of Paris the discipline and education of the students fell under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Paris, who claimed supervision of curriculum and degree-granting. However, the Bishop faced opposition from the teaching masters, who felt that they were the proper judges of the students' qualifications. The masters demanded the right to grant the degree. By 1200 A.D., the Bishop and the teaching masters had reached a compromise: the masters judged the merits of the students and then recommended them to the Bishop, who conferred the degree.

The Contemporary Ceremony
is the successor to this medieval compromise. The faculty sits on the platform in its role as teacher and examiner. Its leaders, the deans, WUSTL Facultypresent the qualified candidates to the chancellor. Acting upon the recommendation of the faculty, the chancellor, as executive officer of the Board of Trustees, formally confers the appropriate degree.

Chancellor Wrighton Danforth Campus seal

More Information
Dates, times and details about Commencement at Washington University in St. Louis, are available at commencement.wustl.edu

If you desire to learn, enter;
We bid you welcome.

The Quadrangle contains a number of commemorative plaques and inscriptions.

Two inscriptions on the east facade of the Brookings archway recognize the university's original founding in 1853 as Eliot Seminary and its re-naming as Washington University in 1857.

Above the archway is the Latin inscription "Discere Si Cupias Intra: Salvere Iubemus" ("If you desire to learn, enter: We bid you welcome").

The large granite plaque in the plaza in front of Brookings Hall commemorates the naming of the Danforth Campus in 2006.

The plaque embedded in the stone paving beneath the archway honors Washington University's c0-founder, first Chair of the Board and the third Chancellor, William Greenleaf Eliot. The plaque was given to the university during the centennial celebrations in 1953 by the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis.

Finally, on the west facade of Brookings Hall above the clock, the Latin inscription reads, "Cedunt Horae, Opera Manent" ("The hours go by, but the works remain").

For more information, please visit: http://commencement.wustl.edu

Leading Together: the Campaign for Washington University