Information for Attendees to the North Campus, Washington, D.C. Ceremony at Fort McNair

Inclement Weather

  • An inclement weather call will be made on 12 June
  • In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will occur in Lincoln Hall Auditorium. 
  • Only students will be allowed access to the auditorium.  Guests may view the event on livestream; or spaces identified by individual colleges.


  • Military Service-Equivalent Class A / Service Dress
  • Civilian Business Attire


  • Each student is allocated up to four guests (toddlers not included in count). Invitations will be disseminated by respective Dean of Students. *Tickets are not required for entry.
  • The University will invite international fellow represented Ambassadors and Defense Attaches
  • Students requesting a special invite for a distinguished guests (i.e.SES/ FO/GO) should coordinate with respective Dean of Students. Invite will not count against student allocation and guest may be seated in DG open seating area section.


  • 0930: Students seated 
  • 0945: Pre-Ceremonial announcements, arrival of Distinguished Guests and VIPs, Faculty processional
  • 1000: Ceremony promptly begins with arrival of Official Party
  • College receptions will begin upon the conclusion of the main ceremony.  


  • Seating sections will be assigned for students, faculty, Distinguished Guests / VIPs, and handicapped guests.
  • Open seating (first come / first served) for family members and other guests. Depending upon attendance levels, some guests may need to stand.
  • Access to seating is available from all open sides of the tent.
  • Several large monitors will be mounted throughout the tent to improve visibility.



















Remote Viewing

The ceremony will be broadcasted live and recorded via Livestream for off-site viewing. The broadcast will begin at 0930.


  • The entire ceremony will be photographed.
  • One official photo with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be taken as student crosses the stage. 
  • Photos will be available one week after graduation for download from the NDU Flickr page.
  • There will be a small gallery set up for guests to take pictures as students come off the stage.
  • Guests should be courteous and not to block the view of other guests.


  • Graduation programs will be available at the entrances to the tent.
  • Water stations and porta johns will be available.
  • Medical personnel will be on standby.

Base Access

  • JBM-HH will waive normal base access requirements for graduation beginning no earlier than 730 a.m.; however, all adult guests must bring a valid photo ID (drivers license, passport, etc.)
  • In addition to the 2nd St Gate, the Ceremonial Gate on P Street SW and the Pedestrian Gate behind Eisenhower Hall (adjacent to the James Creek Marina parking lot) will be open.

Traffic Control & Parking

  • Parking will be at a premium. JBM-HH DES will direct traffic to designated parking lots and available street parking.
  • Parking lot south of Eisenhower Hall is for VIP and handicap parking only. 
  • Vehicles with standard DMV-issued handicap placards/stickers will be directed to the handicap lot.

What to Expect and Etiquette

  • Respective college reps will direct your actions.
  • Students will always exit their seats to their right (facing the stage), and return from the left (facing the stage).
  • As colleges are called forward for conferral of degrees, students will form a single file line, by row, at the west end of the stage.
  • As a student's name is read, they will move forward to receive their diploma from their Chancellor / Commandant, briskly proceed to the CJCS and then to the NDU-P,  then exit the stage and return to their seat. *Students will pause for an official photo with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Students will shake hands (no hand salutes) with each member of the official party, but will avoid pausing for personal exchanges, requests for challenge coins, additional photographs, etc.
  • Students will not strike individual celebratory poses while on stage.
  • Students will refrain from spontaneous outbursts.