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


  • UPDATE 7 June 2023: In-person graduation will proceed as planned. Air quality and weather forecasts were considered in this decision.
  • Anticipate high temperatures and humidity. Fans will be dispersed throughout the tent to circulate the air; however, this will have little cooling effect.
  • Guests are prone to heat injuries should consider attending remotely via Livestream.


  • 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, some guests may need to stand.
  • 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.


  • 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; 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. 
  • Students may request handicap parking passes through respective Deans of Students.

Shuttle Service

  • Shuttle service will be made available from the L'Enfant Plaza (Orange, Blue, Silver, Yellow and Green Lines) and Waterfront (Green Line) metro stations to the pedestrian gate behind Eisenhower Hall. Inbound shuttle will run between 0800-0930. Return shuttle will run between 1300-1500. 
  • Shuttle will be white, with "Beltway Transportation" logo on the sides (see photo below)

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.