Georgetown University celebrates Commencement weekend each year in May.  The School of Nursing & Health Studies hosts several events during the course of the weekend for its undergraduate and graduate students, some of which are listed below.



Undergraduate Commencement FAQs / Graduate Commencement FAQs

2017 Schedule of Events

  • Senior Convocation, Thursday, May 18, 2 p.m., McDonough Arena. Senior Convocation inaugurates the University’s official undergraduate Commencement events.  No student degrees are conferred. Please see additional details here.
  • Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Friday, May 19, 7:30 a.m., Gaston Hall
  • NHS Tropaia Exercises, Friday, May 19, 2 p.m., Lohrfink Auditorium. All seniors and their families are invited to attend Tropaia, the NHS Awards Ceremony, on the Friday of Commencement Weekend in Lohrfink Auditorium in the Hariri Building. The Ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.  Students do not wear academic regalia to this event or process into the auditorium. Attire for the Ceremony is business casual. Students and families are asked to arrive and be seated by 1:45 p.m.  Tickets are not required and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Department of Professional Nursing Practice Pinning Ceremony (for graduating BSN & CNL students), Friday, May 19, 3:30 p.m., Lohrfink Auditorium
  • NHS Graduate & Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, Saturday, May 20, 12 p.m. (Sun Ceremony), Healy Lawn     The NHS Commencement Ceremony for graduate and undergraduate students will take place at 12 p.m. on Healy Lawn. Please review the appropriate FAQ sheet for details regarding inclement weather plans. 
    • First Rain Ceremony **, Undergraduate Degrees, 12 p.m., Leavey Center Ballroom
    • Second Rain Ceremony**, Graduate Degrees, 2:30 p.m., Leavey Center Ballroom
    • NOTE: A reception and diploma distribution will occur on the Esplanade of the Leavey Center following the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Baccalaureate Mass, Sunday, May 21, 9 a.m., Healy Lawn (Rain Site: McDonough Arena)

* Schedule is subject to change.
** In the event of rain, each student will be given a set number of tickets for guests to attend the ceremony.  If a student has more guests than tickets, those individuals without tickets are invited to watch the event via live stream in Lohrfink Auditorium. Please review the appropriate FAQ sheet for details regarding ticketing for rain ceremonies. Students will be provided with additional details prior to Commencement.

Did you know...

NHS has hosted diverse figures over the years as Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients.  Just a few examples:

  • James H. Shelton III, president of Chan Zuckerberg Education at the Chan Zukerberg Initiative
  • Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing
  • Vikram Patel, professor of international mental health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • The Honorable Mark Green, former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania
  • Dorothea Orem, founder of the Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory
  • First Lady Laura Bush
  • Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii)
  • David Satcher, former Surgeon General
  • Lisa Simpson, president and CEO of AcademyHealth
  • Colleen Scanlon (NHS'76), senior vice president for advocacy at Catholic Health Initiatives
  • AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy
  • Helen Varney Burst, author of Varney's Midwifery
  • Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury
  • John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health


The school's first graduation speaker, back in 1906, was physician Joseph Taber Johnson (M'1865), who spoke in Gaston Hall on June 13.  He addressed, among other topics, ethics and nursing.