Class of 2024 Commencement

University Commencement Class of 2024 ScheduleFriday, May 17, 2024

There are NO tickets for Commencement - seating is first come first served. 

Main Commencement Ceremony

Main Athletic Field behind the Campus Recreation Center, Bristol Campus

7:00 AM – ALL gates open on the Athletic Field for guests to be seated.

*Guests must be seated by 8:30 AM

8:00 AM – Students report to Fieldhouse in the Campus Recreation Center

8:15 AM – Instructions given to students in Fieldhouse

8:30 AM - Processional begins from the Fieldhouse to Athletic Field (please note:  there is no tent.)

9:00 AM – Ceremony begins

10:00 AM – Recessional

Ceremonies for individual schools begins.

2024 Commencement – Individual School Ceremony Schedule

Wave I
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM 
(11:00 AM – Students & Faculty report to their designated meet-up locations)

School of Arts, Humanities and Education – GYM
School of Social and Natural Sciences – Practice Soccer Field Tent
University College – QUAD Tent
Gabelli School of Business – Global Heritage Hall Tent

Wave 2
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
(1:30 PM – Students & Faculty report to their designated meet-up locations)

School of Justice Studies – Practice Soccer Field Tent
School of Law – Global Heritage Hall Tent
School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management – GYM
Cumming's School of Architecture – QUAD Tent

For those that cannot attend in person, the Main Ceremony will be live streamed on the university website. The link will be provided in May. Individual school ceremonies will be videotaped and published on the Commencement website at a later date.

Ceremony & Meetup Locations:
All students, faculty, and platform parties MUST report to their meetup location 30 minutes prior to their school ceremony.

Ceremony SiteMeetup Location
Practice Soccer Field TentPractice Soccer Field - Back of Tent
Global Heritage Hall TentGHH Atrium
Quad TentOutside of Architecture Gallery
GymnasiumField House

Thursday, May 16th (following rehearsal, see information regarding rehearsal below)

Graduating students (including Graduate, School of Law, and University College students) will enjoy a barbecue in front of the Marine and Natural Sciences Building.

The Alumni Office will sponsor; live music, The Adam Go Band from 1PM - 3PM, and a Vigilant Brewery cash bar!

This event is free to students only participating in the commencement ceremony, no guests will be allowed.

Rain Location: Upper Commons

We will have a variety food trucks for concessions and lunch during Commencement! This new addition was a hit last year and we're excited to expand the options this year!

  • Food trucks will be parked in front of the Marine & Natural Sciences building and other locations throughout campus.
  • There will be picnic tables in front of MNS for folks to enjoy their food. There are also numerous places to eat outside or inside throughout campus.
  • Graduates & Guests will be responsible for paying for their food from the food trucks

Food Trucks

Other Concessions on Campus

Hawk's Nest (Campus Recreation Center) and the Global Cafe (bottom floor of the Global Heritage Hall) will be open for anyone wishing to purchase a beverage or food throughout the day.

There will also be two concession tents on campus selling drinks and snacks that you can purchase!

On Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 12:00 PM, there will be a rehearsal in the Campus Recreation Center Fieldhouse for ALL graduates participating in the ceremony on Friday, this includes, School of Law, Graduate, and University College Students. Important instructions will be given at the rehearsal, including arrival time, procession and recession into the tents, and school ceremonies. 

Rehearsal is NOT mandatory!

The student speakers and national anthem singer rehearsal will be at the Main Athletic Field stage at 3:30PM!

Public Safety will allow curbside drop off for those needing special assistance to attend the main Commencement Ceremony. There will be officers directing traffic and helping guide folks to this drop off location.

The drop off point will be located at the circle driveway between the Law School and Performing Arts Center, Lot 10. Guests will enter the campus through the north Campus entrance. Guests will be dropped off and then the driver will be directed to Lot D.

Every parking lot on campus also has designated accessible parking spaces. 

Golf carts will be dedicated to helping folks get around campus. These golf carts will be located at the Handicapped drop off location, the Admissions building, North Campus and various locations throughout the day.

If you require any special assistance to attend Commencement please email events@subjectboard.com.

Local Wheelchair Rental

New England Surgical

Mobility Equipment Recyclers

Liberty Mobility

Q: Will it be livestreamed? 

A: The Main Ceremony will be the only livestreamed ceremony. 

Q: When will I receive my diploma? 

A: Diplomas will be mailed to you during the summer. Please make sure your address is up to date with the Registrar’s Office.

Q: What is the Commencement Fair?  Do I have to attend?

A:  Commencement Fair is coordinated by your Class Officers to provide information regarding Commencement and Commencement Ball. Students will be emailed with the various offices and services that will be at the Fair. Students do not need to attend the fair.

Q: What is the attire for Commencement?

A: *Most ceremonies will take place outside on fields. Please dress accordingly for the weather and be sure to wear appropriate shoes.

*please check the schedule to see what 2 schools ceremonies will be inside the Gym.

Q: What if it rains on Commencement?

A: Commencement will happen rain or shine!

Q: Once my graduate's name is called and he/she crosses the stage, can we leave? 

A: No. Out of respect for the other graduates, all graduates and their guests are expected to stay until the ceremony is over.

Q: Can I decorate my cap? 

A: YES!  Your cap is yours to keep. We kindly ask that you be mindful and respectful in your decorations.

Q: How will I be notified about Commencement happenings? 

A: You will receive Commencement information and updates on your RWU email. Please make sure to communicate this information to your families!

Q: If I cannot attend will my name still be listed in the program?

A: Yes. Graduates who would like their name to appear in the Commencement Program must have all paperwork required to update your graduation status in to the Registrar's Office and be cleared for graduation by March 1. Anything received after that date may not be included in the printed program because of print deadlines. 

Q: How long does the ceremony last?

A: The main ceremony will be 1 hour and the individual school ceremonies will be 1 hour.

Q: How do I know if I am eligible to graduate?

A: Students should check Roger Central on eligibility for graduation. Students can Participate in Commencement with no more than two remaining courses including Incompletes. Please discuss any questions you may have with your faculty advisor or Dean’s office.

School of Law students should look for communications from the office of SFR.

Q: Will my picture be taken?  How will I get my pictures?

A: Please go to the expandable Photography section on this webpage for this information!

Students intending to graduate and/or participate in the May 2024 commencement ceremony must apply to graduate in RogerCentral in the Graduation Overview tab. Students may only participate in the commencement ceremony if they will complete all of their degree requirements by the end of the Spring 2024 semester or be 2 courses/8 credits short of completing their requirements (undergraduates) or 1 course short of completing their requirements (graduates).

May 2024 graduation applications were due on March 1, 2023. If you have not submitted your application, please do so immediately.

Completing your graduation application notifies the University of your intention to graduate which:

  • Gets your name on the official graduation list
  • Provides us with the name that will go on your diploma
  • Provides us with the address your diploma will be sent to
  • Allows the registrar’s office to evaluate your progress towards degree completion

Students who complete degree requirements in the Winter Intersession will have their degrees conferred in May. If you previously applied to graduate at the end of the Spring 2023 semester and find that your plans have changed, please email graduationcoordinator@subjectboard.com so that your record can be updated.

Please note: graduates who would like their name to appear in the commencement program must apply to graduate and be cleared to participate in the commencement ceremony by March 1, 2024.  Students that apply to graduate after this date may not be included in the commencement program due to printing deadline dates.

This Ceremony is for the full University Community - undergraduate, graduate and law. All graduate students will participate in the Main Commencement Ceremony. You will process for your degree in your respective school ceremony in Wave I or Wave II as indicated in the schedule above. 

All eligible graduating students, including University College, School of Law and Graduate student only (no guests) are invited to the Presidential Reception. 

Please note that you are eligible to apply as the Commencement National Anthem singer as well as the Graduate Student Speaker, see expandable sections for more details.

ALL graduates are encouraged to apply to sing the National Anthem on their Commencement Day!  All students who have been cleared for graduation are eligible to apply. 

National Anthem Singer Applications are available

Requirements and auditioning information are included on the applications. 

If you have questions regarding this application process, please call 401-254-3166 or email events@subjectboard.com

The student speakers and national anthem singer rehearsal will be at the Main Athletic Field stage at 3:30PM on 5.17.24!

Hotels

Please visit the University's Accommodations page for a full list of hotels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

Concessions on Campus

There will be 20-30 food trucks that you can purchase concessions from!

Hawk's Nest (Campus Recreation Center) and the Global Cafe (bottom floor of the Global Heritage Hall) will be open for anyone wishing to purchase a beverage or food throughout the day.

There will also be two concession tents on campus selling drinks and snack that you can purchase!

Florist

Commencement Flowers Inc., a professional florist, will be on hand before and during Commencement. They will be located near the front entrance to the tent on the field. For your convenience, you can pre-purchase and reserve flowers ahead of time and have them available for pick-up at Commencement. 

Food Trucks

See expandable section for more details!

Book Store

More details to come!

Island Photography is our official Commencement Photographer for 2024. They will be providing professional photo coverage for every graduate as they are recognized during the ceremony. Proofs will be delivered via email within 48-72 hours after the ceremony. Please contact their customer service team if you have any concerns or questions. custserv@islandphoto.com  or Phone # 800-869-0908 

Additional professional photographers will also be on site during and after the ceremony to take photos of graduates, These photos will be shared on the website after Commencement for families to view and download.

Families are encouraged to take photos of their graduate before and after the ceremony. No standing at seats and/or blocking aisles will be allowed during the ceremony.

All eligible graduating students, including University College, School of Law and Graduate student only (no guests) are invited to the Presidential Reception.

Tuesday, May 14, 2023 the President and his wife will be hosting a reception for the 2024 graduates at the President's Residence from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Please email events@subjectboard.com by 5.2.24 to RSVP.

If you cannot find your answer on this webpage or need further help, please see the departments below to contact:

QuestionDepartmentEmail/WebsitePhone
General Commencement InformationCommencement Office/Special Eventsevents@subjectboard.com401-254-3166
Caps & Gowns, Rings, Frames, Graduation AnnouncementsBookstorebksrw@bncollege.com401-254-3036
Outstanding BillsBursarbursar@subjectboard.com401-254-3520
Lavender GraduationIntercultural Centermwalsh@subjectboard.com401-254-3591
Degree Applications, Graduation eligibility, Diploma questions, Address Change, Honors TasselsRegistrargraduationcoordinator@subjectboard.com401-254-3151
Student Commencement Speaker ApplicationStudent Lifencosta@subjectboard.com401-254-3151
Senior Events, Commencement FairStudent Programs & Leadershipclassof2024@g.subjectboard.com401-254-3042
Senior PortraitsStudent Programs & Leadershipstudentprograms@subjectboard.com401-254-3088

Regalia
Only students eligible to graduate (confirmation by Registrar's office) and cleared by the Bursar's office to order and/or pick up their regalia. The bookstore will have a list of students that have been cleared for their regalia. Students who have outstanding bills with the Bursar's Office are considered "not cleared" and cannot pick up their regalia until they meet with the Bursar's Office and make amends.  Upon doing this, the Bursar's Office will give the student a "CLEARED" note to give to the Bookstore to pick up their regalia.


Please note - you do NOT need to order your regalia. 

  • Plan to pick-up regalia in person in the bookstore, date to be announced!
  • The bookstore will be open for regalia pick-up M-Th 9am - 5pm, Fri 9am - 4pm, and Sat 10am - 2pm.   
  • Regalia pick-up begins this week but will continue through the day of commencement.
  • The bookstore will be open for pick on Thursday before and after rehearsal and on Commencement morning at 7am.
  • Any other questions please reach out via e-mail to sm551@bncollege.com

Tassels and Cords

Tassels and cords are distributed by the graduates respective honor society or organization.  Graduates should make sure they contacted their respective supervisor or organization to secure their cords and have them prior to Commencement.

The only tassels given out on the morning of Commencement will be for high honors (summa cum laude -- 3.8 GPA, magna cum laude -- 3.6 GPA, and cum laude -- 3.4 GPA). Those graduates receiving high honors will have the honor listed on the name card they pick up when they check-in for their scheduled Grad Walk. These honors are based on fall semester cumulative averages. Students must have completed at least 54 credits at RWU to be eligible to receive these honors. 

Honors Tassels & Name Cards for Commencement 

  • Students’ name cards will be available for pickup in the Field House the morning of commencement, beginning at 8:00am.
    •  If you are NOT attending the Main Ceremony there will be name reader cards and blanks at every school ceremony as well!
  • Students that have earned Latin Honors will be given an honors tassel when they pick up their name cards.   
  • It is extremely important that students that have earned Latin Honors pickup their name cards in the Field House prior to the start of the main commencement ceremony as honors tassels will not be available at any other location. 

Honors

Students’ honors will be calculated based on their cumulative GPAs at the end of their final semester.  Please see the “Graduation with Honors” section under Academic Regulations and Policies in the Academic Catalog for questions regarding the calculation of honors. Honors tassels will be distributed by the Registrar’s Office. 

Questions regarding Honors tassels? Contact the Registrar's Office.

Fire Regulations

Fire regulations prohibit anyone from standing in the aisles under the tent. All egress paths must remain free and clear of obstructions.

Prohibited Items

Large bags, balloons, signs, noisemakers, confetti, bullhorns, alcohol, and any other object and/or substance that would prove disruptive to your fellow guests will NOT be allowed at any ceremony.

Pets

Only service animals specifically trained to assist a person with a disability are permitted at Commencement.  The service animal must wear its credentials.  No pets are allowed.

There will be 2 Commencement student speakers this year!

  • Undergraduate Student Speaker - undergrad & University College students can apply for this 
  • Graduate Student Speaker - Graduate and Law students can apply for this
  • Speeches should be no longer than 3 minutes 
  • The application deadline is Wednesday, March 6.
  • For questions regarding this application process, please call 401-254-3042 or email rwustudentlife@subjectboard.com.
  • Student Speaker Application

The student speakers and national anthem singer rehearsal will be at the Main Athletic Field stage at 3:30PM on 5.17.24!

Please pick up your name reader card in the Fieldhouse before the Main Ceremony! If you are NOT attending the Main Ceremony there will be name reader cards and blanks at every school ceremony as well!

To add Phonetic Spelling online

Log into Roger Central

1.  Click on Graduation Overview 

2.  Under Application Status, click Application submitted 

3.  Graduation Application, add Phonetic Spelling and Save

Students that graduated in August or December should contact graduationcoordinator@subjectboard.com to input your phonetic spelling

The gates to the Athletic Field where the Main Commencement Ceremony takes place open at 7:00 AM. It is recommended that guests are in their seats by 8:30 AM if they would like to be seated before the processional enters the field. While we encourage guests to arrive early, no one is allowed onto the field before 7:00 AM.

Please, for the courtesy of others, there is no excessive seat saving.

Please note that the ceremony does take place outdoors on the main athletic field with no tent.  We urge all guests to be prepared and dress accordingly for the weather.

There is accessible seating at all Commencement Ceremonies!

Please plan to arrive early. Graduates living on campus must park in the parking garage only. Guests and graduates arriving from off campus must enter through the North Campus Access road and will be directed by Public Safety to appropriate parking lots. If you are entering campus via Metacom Ave you will be directed to park at Mt. Hope Farm. Public Safety will be present to direct guests to the appropriate lot. 

Accessible Parking

Public Safety will allow curbside drop off for those needing special assistance to attend the main Commencement Ceremony. There will be officers directing traffic and helping guide folks to this drop off location.

The drop off point will be located at the circle drive between the Law School and Performing Arts Center, Lot 10. Guests will enter the campus through the north Campus entrance. Guests will be dropped off and then the driver will be directed to Lot D.

Every parking lot on campus has designated accessible parking spaces. 

This year we are excited to announce that we will have 6, 6 passenger golf carts dedicated to helping folks get around campus. These golf carts will be located at the Main Ceremony / Handicapped drop off location, North Campus and various locations throughout the day.

If you require any special assistance to attend Commencement please email events@subjectboard.com.

All University College students will participate in the Main Commencement Ceremony alongside undergraduate, graduate and law students. You will process for your degree in your respective school ceremony - location and time to be announced.

Be sure to check your contact information in Roger Central to ensure your diploma is mailed to the correct address!

Please note that you are eligible to apply as the Commencement National Anthem singer as well as the Undergraduate Student Speaker, see expandable sections for more details.

*****Parking restrictions for Commencement 2024*****

The following lots will be closed Thursday, May 16, at 6:00 pm:

  • Lot 1 (Alumni & Admissions Center)
  • Lots 11 & 12 (East of the mailroom)
  • Lot 13 (Bayside Sea breeze)
  • Lot 10 (behind School of Law and near Performing Arts Center)
  • Lot D (North Lot, Law School Student Parking Lot)
  • Lot C (across from tennis courts on North Campus Road)

Effective Thursday, May 16, at 6:00 pm, all students remaining on campus will be required to park near their Residence Hall.

Friday, May 17COMMENCEMENT

Faculty and staff are required and must park at off-site locations at either Mount Hope Farm on Rt. 136 (Metacom Avenue) or the Baypoint Inn and Conference Center on Anthony Road in Portsmouth.  Shuttles will be run continuously to and from these off-site locations beginning at 5:00 am until 6:00 pm.  University employees are encouraged to carpool to these locations. Please allow yourself enough time to park and ride a shuttle to campus.  Please note:  there will be no vehicular traffic from North Campus Residence Hall to Willow Residence Hall.  Those who choose not to adhere to parking off-site will be stuck on campus until vehicular traffic has resumed.

  • Mount Hope Farm – pick up Metacom Avenue and drop off at Admissions.  Return trips will be from the Main Shuttle Stop located between the School of law and Admissions.
  • Baypoint Shuttle – pick up in front of Baypoint Inn & Conference Center and drop off at Admissions.  Return trips will be from the Main Shuttle stop.
  • Windhill - 55 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI - You will need to walk to campus from this location. Park here if you'll be on campus before 8am. This lot will fill up quickly.

Exceptions to the above will only be approved by the Office of Special Events and those faculty and staff will be notified by their office via email. 

Parking on campus will be reserved for ALL graduates and their guests.  This is especially important this year given the size of the graduating classes.

Thank you for your continued cooperation.

Public Safety