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Commencement Day

Wesley Theological Seminary's 2013 Commencement takes place on Monday May 13 at 2 pm at the Washington National Cathedral.

Preparations

Regalia Pick-Up & Drop-Off

  • If you are unable to pick up your regalia prior to Commencement Day, plan to arrive between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM to pick up your regalia in the Kresge Building, Room KG-01.
  • Regalia must be returned immediately following Commencement. Signs will direct graduands to the location where a representative from Herff-Jones will process returns. Note: If you wish to purchase your regalia, there will be a separate line for sales. Rental regalia are significantly discounted from purchasing new regalia through Herff-Jones. Please visit the Regalia & Fees page for pricing and ordering information.

Cokesbury Bookstore

  • The Cokesbury Bookstore will have limited hours for purchases and last-minute gifts.
  • Do not forget to clear your Cokesbury account and update your address prior to Commencement Day!

Transportation

  • While we wish all of our graduands, their family and friends, and attending staff/faculty could park at the Cathedral and vicinity, history has shown that there is simply not enough parking to go around. A survey of 2011 Graduates indicated that many chose – and were happy with their decision – to park on-campus or take public transportation directly to the Cathedral.
  • Free parking will be provided in the WTS parking lot to graduands, their families and guests all day on Commencement Day. Wesley staff and students are instructed to park elsewhere; however, our parking lot is relatively small and parking will be at a premium after 12:00 PM.
  • Graduands and their guests may choose to take public transportation or walk to the Washington National Cathedral from Wesley. This distance is approximately 1.1 miles. The MetroBus N3/N4 line eastbound (map and schedule here) runs directly between the Seminary and the Cathedral.
  • Alternately, those who wish to take Metro rail directly to the Cathedral should arrive at the Tenleytown-AU Metro station on the Red line and transfer to the MetroBus 32/36 line (map and schedule here) southbound.
  • Approximately 40 parking spaces are available at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral from 12:00 to 4:30 pm. It is located at 2815 36th St. NW. Washington, DC 20007. St. Sophia’s is approximately 0.34 miles from the Washington National Cathedral. Please be aware that there may be some congestion as St. Sophia’s is hosting a festival that week. There are also approximately 10 street parking spaces in front of St. Sophia’s.
  • Approximately 10-15 spots on the upper level of the parking lot will be available after 10:00 am until 5:00 pm at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church. It is located at 3401 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016.
  • Approximately 15 spots will be available at St. Luke's United Methodist Church (located on the corner of Wisconsin Ave and Calvert St), and is within walking distance from the Cathedral.
  • Additionally, there will be extremely limited parking available at the Cathedral's underground parking lot due to the reconstruction projects of the Cathedral. The Seminary asks that graduands, their families and their friends make every effort to carpool, ride-share, or take advantage of public transportation options and that only those with special needs plan to park in the Cathedral's underground parking garage. It is recommended that drivers arrive no later than 12:00 PM in order to ensure parking will be available.  Parking at the Cathedral costs $16.
  • If you or someone in your family has severe mobility issues, please click here to request information about alternative transportation options.

The Commencement Service

Graduand Line-Up at the Cathedral

  • Graduands should be in the procession line at the Cathedral by 1:00 PM. There will be several sites below the main floor where each program (D.Min., M.Div., M.T.S., and M.A.) are instructed to meet. Ushers and signs will guide you to these locations.
  • There will be no place to store hangers, purses, etc. Please make arrangements with guests to hold your belongings prior to arriving at the Cathedral. Items left in the line-up areas will be removed by Cathedral staff and there will be no lost and found available for retrieval of these items.
  • Graduands are not permitted to carry flowers; please dissuade your friends and family from sending arrangements as these deliveries will be refused.

Guests Expectations

  • Guests will not be seated until after 1:00 PM. Those without tickets will not be permitted to sit in ticket-required areas of the Cathedral. However, there are several sight-obstructed locations where familiy and friends without tickets may request to be seated. Ushers will be available to guide these guests to the proper location.
  • Closed-circuit monitors will broadcast the service to guests with obstructed views in the side-aisles; ASL interpreters will sign the service.
  • Island Photography documents the Commencement service. The photographer shoots each individual graduate throughout the reception of their degree. Graduating students will receive ordering information directly from the Photographer after Commencement.
  • The Washington National Cathedral staff will videotape the entire Commencement ceremony. A DVD will be available during late Summer 2012. Contact the Alumni Relations office (202-885-8630) for further information.
  • Graduates are expected to uphold the solemn nature of this service with their guests. Disruptive guests ruin the event for graduates, other guests and the Seminary community. Remind your guests to silence cell phones, attend to noisy children and remain in their seats for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Please note that the Washington National Cathedral does not permit guests to take photographs or videotape the Commencement service.

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