Commencement ceremonies are the culmination of a student’s academic career. This momentous day is shared with family and friends. It is also an opportunity to hear from figures of national importance on topics ranging from career advice to world affairs. AU’s location in Washington, DC makes it possible to for campus to welcome a variety of national and world leaders. Over the years AU students have heard from artists, journalists, judges, politicians and scientists including Marian Anderson, Walter Cronkite, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Jay Gould, President John F. Kennedy, and Elie Wiesel.
Until Bender Arena was built, AU held its commencement ceremonies in a variety of campus and off-campus locations including DAR Constitution Hall and the Washington Hebrew Congregation. Starting next academic year, AU will be re-instituting winter commencement. AU held two ceremonies from 1976 through 2003.