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I. GENERAL INFORMATION -- Fair Weather Plans

University of Rhode Island Undergraduate Commencement exercises will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018. If the weather is fair, the main ceremony will begin promptly at 12:30 PM with an academic procession of faculty and degree candidates onto the University Quadrangle and will continue there with a formal program. See below for rain plan information. Immediately following the Quadrangle ceremony, individual colleges will hold additional exercises at locations listed on the back of this sheet. Please note, however, that although graduates of the College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, College of Environmental and Life Sciences, and the Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies participate in the main ceremonies at 12:30 PM on Sunday the 20th, their special ceremonies will be held before the main commencement ceremony on either Sunday the 20th or Saturday the 19th at the designated locations. All graduates, families, and friends are welcome to attend all ceremonies on the Quadrangle.

Information about commencement is available through an automated commencement hotline at 401-874-1234 and the University's Commencement website at


Candidates for undergraduate degrees should assemble wearing cap and gown along Lower College Road in front of the Memorial Union at 12:00 Noon. Street clothing should be suitable for this special occasion. The gown should be worn closed in front. The cap should be worn flat or cocked slightly forward. The inside of the crown of the cap usually has a mark indicating which point is the front of the cap. That point should face forward when the cap is worn. The tassel should be worn over the left front edge of the cap.

Candidates should assemble into four, single-file lines, A, B, C, D, as indicated on the diagram below. The lines are sub-divided into sections according to college and degree program so that candidates from each of the colleges can process onto the Quadrangle and be seated in groups. Note that:

Line A begins with Arts and Sciences BA degree candidates whose last names begin with the letters A through L and continues with Arts and Sciences BA degree candidates whose last names begin with the letters M through Z;
Line B begins with Arts and Sciences candidates for the BFA and BM degrees, followed by Arts and Sciences BS candidates, followed by Nursing candidates, followed by Engineering candidates;
Line C begins with Education and Professional Studies candidates, followed by Business Administration candidates, and ends with Environment and Life Sciences candidates;
Line D begins with Health Science candidates, followed by Pharmacy candidates.

A sign pole and sign will mark the front of each line, as well as major divisions within each line. Faculty marshals from each college, wearing academic dress, carrying batons, and wearing identifying badges will help organize the lines. Unless notified otherwise by your college marshal, you need not be in alphabetic order within the lines. You should make sure, however, that you assemble in the correct line and into the correct part of the line reserved for your college and degree program so that you can be seated correctly on the quadrangle.


Graduation line order diagram


Just before the procession begins, the faculty marshals from each college will take up positions in the lines at the front of each group of degree candidates. The marshals know where each group is to sit as well as the correct route onto the Quadrangle. They are responsible for leading the groups onto the Quadrangle and they, with the help of ushers, will see to it that you are seated in the correct section. The procession begins at 12:30 PM sharp. As the procession begins note the person in front of you in line, then follow that person during the procession until you are seated. TRY TO STAY IN ORDERLY LINES DURING THE PROCESSION, FOLLOW THOSE WHO HAVE THE SAME TASSEL COLOR AS YOU.


Once seated on the Quadrangle, you can follow the ceremonies with a Commencement Program. P rograms are available at the information kiosk near the Memorial Union. Please carry it with you to your seat. At the appropriate time, each group of candidates will be asked to rise as a group. Remain standing while the President confers the degree en masse to your group. After the degree is conferred, you will be asked to be seated once again.


At the end of the main ceremony, the President and other officials from the main platform will recess down the center aisle, followed by the faculty. All Arts and Sciences Faculty and Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Candidates should remain in their seats. All other undergraduate degree candidates should follow your college marshal during the recessional, leave the Quadrangle, and proceed directly to the areas assigned to each college (listed below) for college ceremonies. At these locations, representatives of the individual colleges will distribute programs and give further instructions to their candidates before their ceremonies begin. Please note that the College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy, and the Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies will hold their special ceremonies in the morning (i.e., before the main commencement ceremony) and the College of Health Sciences and College of Environmental and Life Sciences will hold their ceremony on May 19th (Saturday afternoon/evening) at the location indicated below.


Arts and Sciences - University Quadrangle, immediately following Main Ceremony (Rain site: Ryan Center)
Business Administration - Keaney Gymnasium, immediately following Main Ceremony (rain or shine)
Engineering - Keaney Gymnasium, Sunday, May 20th, 9:00 AM (rain or shine)
Environment and Life Sciences – Ryan Center, Saturday, May 19th, 3:00 PM (rain or shine)
Feinstein College of Education & Professional Studies – Edwards, Sunday, May 20th, 9:00 AM (rain or shine)
Health Sciences – Ryan Center, Saturday, May 19th, 7:00 PM (rain or shine)
Nursing – Mackal Field House, immediately following Main Ceremony (rain or shine)
Pharmacy – Mackal Field House, Sunday, May 20th, 9:00 AM (rain or shine)
ROTC Commissioning - Friday, May 18th 1:00 PM, Edwards Auditorium


In case of rain, the Main Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Ryan Center. On entering the Ryan Center, Bachelor's degree candidates should follow the signs to the appropriate assembly areas. Candidates processing in Lines A & B should enter the Ryan Center at the North Lobby and organize in the Loading Dock and Service Hallway corridor. Candidates processing in Line C should enter the Ryan Center at the South Lobby and organize in the Home Team Hallway corridor. Candidates processing in Line D should enter the Ryan Center at either the South Lobby of the Ryan Center or the main entrance of Tootell and organize in the Tootell West Gymnasium.

In the event of inclement weather, the decision to move the main ceremony to the Ryan Center will be made the morning of Commencement, Sunday, May 21st. Updates will be posted on the commencement website, the commencement hotline (401.874.1234) and on the University of Rhode Island emergency notification system called “URI emergencyALERT”.

Limited tickets are available for the ceremony at the Ryan Center. Each graduating student can receive two (2) rain tickets for the ceremony. Rain tickets will be available starting April 14th. Rain tickets can be picked up at the Ryan Center or printed via your online student ticketing account at (select the “tickets” tab, then the “student tickets” tab).

The college ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences will take place immediately following the main ceremony, in the Ryan Center. All other college ceremonies will remain at designated venues.

State law prohibits the consumption in public of alcoholic beverages on state property. The University is required to enforce this regulation during Commencement exercises. We appreciate your cooperation.