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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URIís 122nd commencement

Media Contact:

May 9, 2008

Answers to the 10 most commonly asked questions
by media covering URIís commencement weekend:

First, the basics:
Graduate Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 17, 2008, 1 p.m.
Ryan Center
Kingston Campus
Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 18, 2008, 12:30 p.m.
Quadrangle (Rain site Ryan Center)
Kingston Campus


Degrees: 2,871 undergraduates students, including 86 students in the 6-year pharmacy degree program.
Rhode Islanders: 1,733
Males: 1,225
Females: 1,646
Oldest: 70
Youngest: 19
Twins: 5 sets
Veterans: 34 (24 male, 10 female)

Degrees: 643
Rhode Islanders: 456
Males: 235
Females: 405
Oldest: 74
Youngest: 22

BOTTOM LINE: Approximately a total of 3,514 students will graduate from the University of Rhode Island during commencement weekend, May 17 and May 18.

1. Do I need a media pass?
Yes, for the undergraduate commencement on Sunday. The pass allows you access to podium guests, provides for seating at the press table, and access to any a/v hookups that may be needed for audio feed. To receive a pass, come to the Department of Communications and Marketing office located at the URI Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road. Weíre on the first floor, room 100. In the event of rain, you can get the media pass in media room 117 of the Ryan Center.

2. Do I need a parking pass?
No. Parking for the undergraduate ceremonies is off Briar Lane. Graduate exercises take place on Saturday in the Ryan Center.

3. What happens if it rains on Sunday?
The undergraduate ceremony will be held in the Ryan Center.

4. Is there any place to use a phone during Sundayís undergraduate commencement ceremonies? You are welcome to use our office in the Alumni Center, Room 100 at 73 Upper College Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the event of rain, you can use phones located in the Ryan Centerís media room. We will even have snacks for members of the hard working Fourth Estate.

5. How many students are graduating this year?
About 643 graduate students will receive degrees on Saturday, May 17 and approximately 2,871 undergraduate students will receive degrees on Sunday, May 18. Potential August 2008 graduates who have one or two courses to complete are included in the count. Approximately a total of 3,514 students will graduate during commencement weekend.

6. Who is this yearís commencement speaker?
Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page will speak at the Universityís undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m.

7. Who will receive honorary degrees this year?
Six people will receive honorary degrees during the undergraduate commencement ceremonies: The commencement speaker Clarence Page will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Architect William D. Warner, will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree; Ambassador Christopher Hill will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Michael Fascitelli will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Douglas Durand will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; and URI Professor Emerita Agnes Doody will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

8. Who is this yearís student commencement speaker? Gabriel ďGabeĒ Mancuso of Edison, N.J. who will graduate with degrees in political science and economics, will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

9. Can I speak to the commencement speaker or to the honorary degree recipients?
Yes. Contact Jan Wenzel at URIís Department of Communications and Marketing in advance for details at 401-874-2116.

10. How does undergraduate commencement begin?
Youíll hear sounds of a bagpipe. Bagpiper John Sullivan has led URIís Commencement procession for a number of years. Fully attired in highland regalia, including kilt and sporran, Sullivan marches ahead of the 50th Reunion Class, which is followed by the faculty marshals, graduating seniors, and the platform members Ėhonorary degree recipients and members who will hood them; URI Foundation Excellence Award winners, Board of Governorís members, local and federal office holders, URI administrators, deans, and the student speaker.

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