ST. LOUIS — Washington University is celebrating its 163rd commencement today at Francis Olympic Field, starting at 9 a.m. It features Jennifer Coolidge, the award-winning actress known for her roles in “Legally Blonde” and “The White Lotus,” as the commencement speaker. Coolidge will also receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Over 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students make up the Class of 2024. Attendees need tickets to enter and gates open at 7:30 a.m. at the field, located near Big Bend Boulevard on Forsyth Boulevard.

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The ceremony comes on the heels of the recent pro-Palestinian protests on campus, which led to 100 arrests. Following these events, 23 students and nine employees were suspended, with the arrested faculty members defending the protests as peaceful and necessary.

New security measures are in place for the ceremony, including a clear bag policy, although no bags are preferred. Free clear bags will be available, and diaper bags are allowed but will be inspected. A list of prohibited items is available on the university’s website.

After the ceremony, a festival with food, games, and live entertainment will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., spanning from Mudd Field to Tisch Park.