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Inclement Weather

The Howard University Commencement Convocation is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2019, beginning at 10:00 a.m., on the main campus Upper Quadrangle.  To ensure a festive occasion, rain or shine, the University has developed an inclement weather plan.  If the forecast calls for threatening weather, we recommend beginning Friday morning, the day before Commencement, to listen to Howard University’s WHUR Radio, 96.3 FM, or watch Howard’s WHUT-TV, Channel 32 and the DC local news channels, for updated information regarding the Commencement Convocation program.   Updated event advisories will also be available on the Howard website at:

Each graduating senior will receive four (4) tickets for special guests seating on the Upper Quadrangle. If the weather permits, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Upper Quadrangle as planned.  If there is only a threat of inclement weather or overcast conditions, prospective graduates should proceed to Greene Stadium and follow the instructions of the faculty marshals.  In the event of inclement weather, the following conditions will govern our proceedings.



The goal of the University is to convene the Commencement program in the Convocation Arena on the Upper Quadrangle of the main campus.  The University will take the following actions with regard to possible inclement weather on the day of the Commencement Convocation.  

The University will implement a “weather delay” whereby the University will delay the start time of the Commencement Convocation, if it appears that inclement weather may resolve within a short period of time prior to the start of the academic processional or the University will implement the formal Inclement Weather Plan.  Any “weather delay” announcements will be made by Howard University’s radio and television stations. Also, status updates will be available at information booths and from hosts/hostesses who will be stationed around the Convocation area.



If the weather forecast calls for the possibility of intermittent showers, the University will proceed with an “accelerated” Commencement Convocation on the Upper Quadrangle with an on-time start, and an expedited program if inclement weather were to occur during the Commencement program.  

Under our Inclement Weather Plan, the Convocation will be held in the John H. Burr Gymnasium, 6th and Girard Streets, NW.  Seating will be restricted to the graduates, the faculty, the choir and orchestra, and the guests of the Convocation orator and the honorary degree recipients.

If there is inclement weather (continuous rain showers or thunderstorms) the morning of the event, all prospective graduates should report immediately to the Burr Gymnasium and be seated by 7:30 a.m. Ticketed and non-ticketed guests should report immediately to the simulcast viewing locations across the main campus.  The building locations are identified in this notice.

If weather conditions, excessive heat advisory, or other emergency situation necessitates that the Commencement Convocation be held indoors, announcements will be made by Howard University’s radio and television, and DC local stations. Also, status updates will be available at information booths and from hosts/hostesses who will be stationed around the Convocation Arena.



In the unlikely event that we must implement the Inclement Weather Plan, the University has limited indoor seating to accommodate all guests; there will be restricted seating in Burr Gymnasium.  To maximize ceremony viewing site accommodations for the graduates’ guests, space will be made available at the simulcast viewing locations on a first-come, first-served basis until all designated University facilities have reached their optimum allowable capacity, consistent with fire and safety regulations.

The simulcast viewing sites on campus are listed below:

  • Burr Gymnasium – Lower Level
  • Cramton Auditorium
  • Ira Aldridge Theater
  • School of Business Auditorium
  • School of Social Work Auditorium



In the event of inclement weather, graduates are requested to encourage their guests to view the Commencement Convocation on WHUR Radio, 96.3 FM.  University broadcast outlet will carry the ceremonies live, whether they are held on the Upper Quadrangle or in Burr Gymnasium.  A webcast of the Commencement Convocation can also be viewed on the World Wide Web by directing your web browser to:
The University will make every effort to accommodate as many guests and visitors as possible in the event of inclement weather.