RIC announces tentative plans to hold in-person commencement ceremony

Alexis Rapoza

News Editor

Photo via WPRI

PROVIDENCE, R.I., -- Rhode Island College plans to hold its 2021 Commencement both virtually and in person. According to their website, RIC will celebrate this year’s graduating class from May 13-15 with “a carefully planned series of smaller ceremonies that will adhere to all health and safety protocols.”


According to the college’s website, this year's Commencement will “not have the usual pomp and circumstances associated with a commencement ceremony.” Ceremonies will include brief welcomes from President Sanchez, Provost Dean and your Dean. The Dean will then provide President Sanchez with the candidates of their school and the President will confer the degrees and call upon students to receive their diplomas. Following their Commencement walks students will be directed to take their official Commencement photos which will be emailed to graduates following the ceremony. The school is discouraging everyone from congregating before and after the Commencement ceremonies.


These ceremonies will be limited to graduates only with a maximum of 250 students per ceremony. Commencement walks will be live-broadcasted for friends and families to view. Please visit ric.edu on the day of your Commencement for livestream details.


Graduates should have received an email with registration information and must register to participate in the in-person commencement ceremony by 5 p.m. on May 3rd. All ceremonies will be held on the track or the Recreation Center if it rains. Commencement walks are scheduled to be separated by school and are as follows:


Thursday, May 13

6:00p.m. - School of Social Work

Friday, May 14

11:00 a.m. - School of Business

6:00 p.m. - School of Education

Saturday, May 15

9:00 a.m. - Arts & Sciences I

3:00 p.m. - Arts & Sciences II

Sunday, May 16

10:30 p.m. - School of Nursing


To participate in the Commencement Walks, students are required to wear Commencement regalia. Graduates may purchase their commencement regalia at the bookstore during normal bookstore hours, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or order it online and have it shipped to their home. Orders must be placed by Wednesday, April 28.


Additionally, all graduates must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken 24-72 hours because their designated Commencement Walk. Students who are fully vaccinated are not exempt from this requirement and still provide proof of a negative test. A list of COVID-19 testing sites can be found here.


RIC’s Director of College Events and Conference Services, Kavinda Arthenayake, said, “It is a moving target with lots of unknown variables.” He continued, “The focus of these ceremonies is to provide our graduates the opportunity to walk across the stage and get their photo taken.”


In addition to the in-person Commencement Walk, RIC is also hosting a Virtual Commencement for all graduates. The Virtual Commencement will feature a video collage of graduating seniors within each school. Graduates must submit a photo by 5 p.m. on May 3. To submit a photo, visit this website.


For questions regarding the commencement ceremony, contact the commencement office at commencement@ric.edu or call 401-465-8900.


For questions regarding graduation eligibility, contact the Records Office at records@ric.edu or call 401-456-8213.

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