A Graduation Tradition: Meet the 2019 Gonfalonieres and Guardians of the Gonfalon

Each year the UW’s schools and colleges select students to lead their degree candidates into Husky Stadium 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.

During the Commencement ceremonies, alumni volunteers watch over the banners, 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. 

The UWAA is proud to help organize these volunteers and 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:

College of Built Environments

Arts and Sciences

Foster School of Business




Graduate School

Information School

School of Law

School of Medicine

School of Nursing

College of the Environment


Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

School of Public Health

School of Social Work

The Gonfalonieres and Guardians from the Class of 2017 Commencement

Gonfaloniere Jude Tunyi, ’17, with Guardian Mike Miller, ’63

Guardian Charyl Sedlik, ’67, with gonfaloniere Michelle Yip, Ph.D. ’17

Gonfalonieres lead their schools into Husky Stadium

Guardian Charyl Sedlik, ’67, with graduating students from the Class of 2017

Guardian Shanda Taylor-Boyd, ’94, with gonfaloniere Anastasia Baide, Pharm.D. ’17

A gonfaloniere leads her cohort into Husky Stadium