Commencement | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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May Recognition Ceremony 2021

“I am deeply grateful to each of you for your patience, grace, and perseverance during this most extraordinary time.” – Mary McKay, Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School

Commencement offers a time for our graduates to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments, along with family, friends, faculty and mentors. We look forward to welcoming you as colleagues.

After exploring what is possible and keeping the safety of our community at the forefront, the Brown School has decided to create a virtual celebration for our students and their families. The larger University has created a plan to allow for limited in-person ceremonies for both the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020.

Please note: only registered attendees and volunteers should be on campus during the Commencement ceremonies.

Ceremonies and Celebrations

Thursday, May 20, 2021 | Brown School Virtual Recognition Ceremony
The Virtual Brown School Commencement Ceremony will be shared on May 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. CST. It can be viewed asynchronously, as it is prerecorded. The ceremony, which recognizes our graduating doctoral and masters candidates, will feature messages from Dean Mary McKay; Stanley Luster, the Brown School's student speaker;  and Angela Brown, CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission and this year's keynote speaker. 

We are also proud to announce this year's student marshals:

  • Hana Bekele, MSW
  • Katherine Irani, Dual Degree (MSW/MPH)
  • Sarah Kang, MPH
  • Angelica Santiago Gonzalez, MSW/MSP (representing the MSP program)

If you are viewing outside the U.S. and cannot view on YouTube, click here and unmute video.

Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | All-University Commencement
Sunday, May 30, 2021 | Class of 2020 Ceremony

As long as conditions remain favorable, the University will proceed with holding in-person events for both of these classes. The ceremonies will take place on Francis Olympic Field on the Danforth campus. Due to limitations on gatherings and crowd sizes, there will be multiple, smaller ceremonies for each class and a maximum of 500 participants at each ceremony.Graduates will be allowed to invite up to two guests each to campus to view the ceremonies.

Graduates from all the schools are allowed to attend the All-University commencement. The Brown School has been paired with Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts; this ceremony will take place from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. on May 20.

Registration is open and required- visit for updates and to get your tickets. Be sure to check your inbox regularly for additional updates.

Assembly Points & Procession Order

For the all-university commencement, follow the instructions that will be shared with attendees after registration.

Additional Recognition Ceremonies

Additional celebratory events will be held to recognize graduating students who are veterans, students with children, LGBTQ+ students, Latinx students, black students, and Buder Scholars. We will update this space with information on Brown School celebrations; visit the main Commencement to learn about additional all-school ceremonies.

Alumni Messages

Last year, we gathered a special collection of Messages From Alumni to Our 2020 Graduates from Brown School. A year later, the messages and encouragement continue to inspire our community. Please take time to read these and absorb the love, joy, and wisdom our alumni have for you.

Many stressed that the new graduates' skills are imperative in helping the nation navigate the pandemic. "We desperate need you out her with us. Never has your experience, expertise and passion been more necessary," said Emily Stuart, MSW '10.

"You are the future of our profession, a future that is in your hands and does not depend on a ceremony," added Barbara Whitman, MSW '73, PhD '81.

Social Media

We will share custom Facebook frames to help students and their loved ones celebrate this milestone. Don't forget to tag us on social media FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #BrownGrad21 and #WashU21 ; we want to share your joy.

Diplomas and Transcripts

Transcripts will be available for order on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Information regarding diplomas can be found here.