Reminders and Helpful Tips for our Graduates and Campus Guests


  • Graduation rehearsal … It is imperative that graduates attend rehearsal on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium in order to receive precise assembly and seating instructions in addition to up-to-date inclement weather, parking, and security information.
  • At the Prayer Breakfast for graduates and their guests on Friday, May 11th, breakfast will be served from 8:009:00 a.m. only. Graduates will be allowed to hold seats for guests ONLY UNTIL 8:45 a.m.
  • Guests should be seated by 8:45 a.m. on the day of Commencement. The processional of students will begin promptly at 8:45 a.m. In order to assure that the procession of graduates can enter the Upper Quadrangle where they will be seated, guests will not be allowed to go to their seats until all of the graduates are in their seats.
  • Please turn off all pagers, cell phones, and PDAs prior to entering the Convocation Arena. Your cooperation is required to maintain the dignity of the ceremony for everyone involved. If guests must use their cell phones, we ask that they move out of the Upper Quadrangle area to handle this communication.
  • In the event of inclement weather, updated announcements will be made via Howard University’s radio (WHUR 96.3 FM), television station (WHUT-TV, Channel 32) and on the University’s Web site ( If the inclement weather plan is implemented the Convocation will be held in Burr Gymnasium, indoor seating will be extremely limited. Due to the anticipation of a large attendance, all guests WILL NOT be able to find seating in the main inclement weather site staging Arena. However, guests who are unable to find seating will be directed by ushers to indoor accommodations in designated campus facilities. Seating in those facilities will also be on a space available basis. Please have your guests plan accordingly.
  • Traffic will be heavy the few hours before and after the Commencement ceremony. Some streets will be closed to accommodate our campus activities. Also, remember to advise your guests that the very heavy traffic and extremely limited parking within many blocks of the campus should be considered in determining arrival time for the ceremony.Keep your car in good mechanical condition to prevent car trouble and keep your gas tank full.
  • Guests who are physically challenged or infirmed should allow extra time for arrival, for entering the Convocation Arena, and accessing special needs parking. Please note that special needs parking on campus is extremely limited, therefore plan accordingly. There will be a pick-up from the corner of the bookstore at 6 th and Bryant Streets for transportation to the upper campus. In addition, to accommodate our hearing impaired attendees, sign language interpreters will be on stage during the ceremony. For all special individual school/college recognition ceremonies held during Convocation week, graduates are requested to contact their Dean’s offices regarding their special needs and those of disabled guests. This should be done not less than two weeks prior to Commencement.
  • Keep members of your party together …it's always helpful to designate a meeting point and time in case your party gets separated. It is suggested that graduates identify a campus site as a meeting point such as in front of the School of Business, the Tubman Quadrangle, “The Valley,” School of Social Work, and other remote building sites that do not attract a large number of guests in order to clearly identify members of their party.
  • Small children – if you do bring small children, please be sure they have some form of identification with them. Contact any Campus Police Officer or host/hostess for assistance. We will direct separated children to the Commencement Command Center in Locke Hall adjacent to the Commencement Convocation Arena.
  • Avoid carrying unnecessary bags. Guests are discouraged from carrying backpacks, book bags, tote bags, brief cases, and other baggage. You are reminded that purses and other like items are subject to search and this in turn will slow entrance onto the yard.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money and unnecessary credit cards. Keep small amounts (ten or fifteen dollars) handy in your wallet or purse for quick access and impromptu needs.
  • Report any lost articles to any Campus Police Officer. Found articles will be held at the Campus Police Department.
  • No bottles, cans, coolers, alcoholic beverages, weapons, animals, or pets will be permitted inside the Convocation Arena.
  • Simulcast viewing areas are available in the following sites:
    • Greene Stadium (Jumbotron)
    • Burr Gymnasium
    • Cramton Auditorium
    • Blackburn – Auditorium, Ballroom, Forum, and Reading Room
    • Ira Aldridge Theater
    • School of Business Auditorium
    • College of Medicine (Lecture Hall)
    • College of Dentistry (Smart Class Room)
    • Social Work Auditorium

Helpful Tips

Commencement participants and guests are strongly encouraged to use public transportation when traveling to the May 12th event. The following transportation alternatives are offered:

  • Metro Bus stops are located on Georgia Avenue at entry points to the campus.
  • Purchase your Metro fare cards in advance, have roundtrip fare on your Metro fare card. This will reduce your wait time in lines to purchase fare cards for your return trip.
  • Metro Subway -- The University will operate limited shuttle bus service from the Shaw-Howard University Metro Station stop to main campus prior to the beginning of the Commencement Convocation program. The Shaw/Howard University stop is on the Green Line and located just a few city blocks from our main campus. The Howard University Shuttle Bus service will be available from the Shaw/Howard University Metro Station from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Metro Bus and Train Schedules can be obtained by calling 202-637-7000 or by accessing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s website: You will need to provide your starting point/address and your destination ( Howard University, 2400 Georgia Avenue, NW).
  • Taxicab Service is readily available in the Washington Metropolitan area. Either call ahead for service or flag a taxi on any major thoroughfare. When departing campus, the best location for flagging a taxi is from the Georgia Avenue side of our main campus.
  • Street Parking is available in limited locations near Howard University. Please park legally, do not block entrances, driveways, or fire hydrants, and observe all parking regulations. Illegally parked cars are subject to ticketing and/or towing. Upper Campus Parking is limited and will not be permitted on Commencement Day. However, signs will be posted for directions to perimeter parking lots on the day of the event. The Howard Hospital parking garages, located at 4th & V Streets, NW, will also be available to early arriving guests. Shuttle bus service will be provided from University parking lots and the Hospital garages to the Commencement site.
  • Note where you park (lot names, cross/adjacent street name and landmarks) so you do not spend unnecessary time walking around the neighborhood or a parking lot. Always lock your car doors (and buckle up). Never leave your keys in your car, whether you're at the gas station or in the parking lot. It's always a good safety measure to keep your house keys separate from your car keys.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight ––under the seat, in the glove compartment, or in the trunk. For safety, do not keep your purse on the seat beside you. When returning to your vehicle, be alert with your car keys in hand to quickly unlock and enter your vehicle. Be aware of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
  • Weather Conditions – The weather is usually quite warm, particularly as guests are sitting on the Yard in direct sunlight. Guests should be made aware of this and be dressed accordingly. Guests are advised to check the projected weather forecast in advance of arriving on campus. Water is available for purchase and there is on-site emergency health care and restrooms.
  • Conclusion of Commencement – Commencement concludes at approximately 12:30 p.m.

ENJOY YOURSELF! This will be a festive and memorable occasion for graduates and their families and friends. Walk purposefully, look confident, and wear your pride––for you will be one of our special guests.