Freshman Convocation

A University of Washington welcome for freshmen, their friends and families.

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016


Freshman Convocation tickets are complimentary and can be ordered now. Tickets to the President’s Picnic are also available for a fee. You can request parking and disability accommodations when ordering tickets.


Freshman Convocation
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 10:30 a.m.
Alaska Airlines Arena
Hec Edmundson Pavilion (map)
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Bags checked at the door

President’s Picnic
Following the Convocation at noon on the Rainier Vista lawn (map).

Freshman Convocation is one of only two occasions where the University president, the Board of Regents, the deans of the 16 schools and colleges and the faculty gather in a formal academic setting focused on students. The other, of course, is the graduation ceremony, Commencement. These two events are the seminal “bookend” events of a college career.

At Freshman Convocation you will:

  • Find out about your classmates from the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
  • Get tips from your student body president on how to make the most of your college experience.
  • Learn about some of the exciting educational opportunities that await you.
  • Hear from lecturer in anthropology and Distinguished Teaching Award winner Holly Barker.
  • Join the Husky family!

President’s Picnic

Following the convocation, President Ana Mari Cauce will host the tenth annual President’s Picnic under a giant tent set up on the Rainier Vista lawn (see map). At the picnic, incoming students and their families and friends will have a great opportunity to chat informally with the president and meet many of the University’s faculty members and key administrators. There will be music, delicious food, a special appearance by the Husky marching band and cheerleaders, and lots of fun. Tickets may be ordered when you order your convocation tickets.

2015 UW Convocation Ceremony

2015 UW Convocation Ceremony

Join the conversation

Just post content to your favorite social networks using hashtag #uwfresh16. Be sure to set your post/profile to public and check the box to send Vine posts to Twitter. Then follow the conversation on our Tagboard page.

Event webcast

Freshman Convocation will be live webcast and rebroadcast by UWTV (Comcast channels 320 in HD and 27).


Phone: 206-543-2592


Why do we have commencement and convocation ceremonies? Learn more about ceremony and tradition at the University of Washington.

Office of Ceremonies


Symbols and meanings

There are four key ritual elements that are seen at University of Washington academic ceremonies. They express our history and traditions.



The Four Columns

The columns that form the backdrop for our stage at convocation and commencement hold special meaning for the University of Washington.



The University Mace

University of Washington ceremonial occasions begin with the entrance of the University Mace, carried by the University Marshal.