2021 graduation

A Graduation Tradition: Gonfalonieres and Guardians of the Gonfalons

Commencement is a time of pomp and pageantry, reflection and gratitude. Our alumni community is proud to celebrate and support students in this year’s online ceremony.

Each year the UW’s schools and colleges select students to lead their degree candidates during the commencement procession. These students are called gonfalonieres, because they carry the school’s gonfalon, a banner that hangs down from a crosspiece and bears that school’s name and symbol. Following tradition borrowed from the Italian Renaissance, the gonfalonieres represent some of the UW’s most accomplished students.

Alumni volunteers watch over the banners during the ceremony, so that the gonfalonieres can enjoy their graduation experience. These volunteers are called Guardians of the Gonfalon, and they have been part of graduation exercises for more than 20 years. 

Even though this year’s commencement will be held online, the UWAA is proud to share the stories of these exceptional students and alumni. In preparation for the big day, we asked all of them to share their UW background, including special memories and advice they would like to share with future Huskies.

Here they are, in order of their place in the commencement procession:

Doctoral Candidates

Graduate School

School of Pharmacy

School of Dentistry

Master’s Candidates

Graduate School

School of Law

Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Bachelor’s Candidates

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of the Environment

The Information School

Michael G. Foster School of Business

School of Nursing

School of Medicine

College of Built Environments

School of Public Health

School of Social Work