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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URIís 124th commencement answers to the 10 most commonly asked questions

Media Contact:

URIís 124th commencement
Answers to the 10 most commonly asked questions
by media covering URIís commencement weekend:

First, the basics:
Graduate Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 22, 2010, 1 p.m.
Ryan Center, Kingston Campus

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 23, 2010, 12:30 p.m.
Quadrangle (Rain site Ryan Center)
Kingston Campus

Fast Facts:

Graduate Ceremonies:
765 graduate students will receive degrees, (530 Rhode Islanders)
Undergraduate Ceremonies:
3,132 undergraduates will earn degrees, (1,936 Rhode Islanders)
Total Number Graduating: 3,897

1. Do I need a media pass?
Yes, but only 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 located at the URI Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road. Weíre on the first floor, room 100.

2. Where do I park?
Undergraduate Ceremony Parking: Enter the University on Upper College Road from Route 138. Turn right at first stop sign onto Briar Lane. Turn left into the parking lot after the campus police station. The lot is closest to our office in the Alumni Center (natural shingled) and just a short walk to the undergraduate commencement exercises on the quadrangle.
Graduate Ceremony Parking: Ceremony will be held in the Ryan Center. Use any nearby parking lot.

3. What happens if it rains Sunday?
In the event of rain, the main commencement ceremony will be held at the Ryan Center. If the rain plan is implemented, the decision will be made in the early morning and information will be posted on the URI homepage, www.uri.edu, and a message will be placed on our automated phone lines (401.874.7669, and 401.874.1000). Members of the media should go to the Ryan Center's media room (room 117, first left after entering the Center via the North Lobby) to receive a media pass and seating instructions. If you have any questions, you can reach the Department of Communications and Marketing staff that day by calling 401.874.5426 or 401.714-6595.

4. Can I watch commencement on my computer?
You can view the undergraduate commencement ceremony live on your computer from the comfort of your living room coach or where ever you roam. The webcast will begin at 12:15 p.m. when members of the 50th class reunion step off and concludes at the end of the formal ceremonies on the quadrangle.

5. Is there any place to use a phone during Sundayís undergraduate commencement ceremonies? You are welcome to use facilities in our office 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 have snacks for members of the media at either location.

6. Any interesting facts about this yearís graduates?
Of the students earning graduate degrees: 285 are men, 480 are women; the oldest student is 66, the youngest is 22. Of the students earning undergraduate degrees: 1,282 are men, 1,850 are women, the oldest student is 79, and the youngest is 19. There are 39 veterans graduating. Seven sets of twins will earn 14 degrees.

7. Who is this yearís commencement speaker?
CNNís John King who graduated from URI in 1985 will deliver the commencement address at the Universityís undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. There is no commencement speaker at the graduate ceremony on Saturday.

8. Who will receive honorary degrees this year?
Four individuals will receive honorary degrees during undergraduate commencement: CNNís John King will receive an honorary doctor of human letters degree; jazz violinist Lesa Terry will receive an honorary doctor of arts degree; WPRI anchor and community service advocate Karen Adams will receive an honorary doctor of human letters degree, and President, CEO, and COO of Toray Industries Inc. Mr. Sadayuki Sakakibara will receive a doctor of humane letters degree.

9. Who is this yearís student commencement speaker? Erica Richard '10, will speak at the University's undergraduate ceremonies on Sunday, May 23. Her talk, "The Five People You Have Met at URI," will focus on the types of people who influenced her and her peers. After graduation, the marketing major with leadership and art minors, hopes to combine her interests in a career, perhaps working with art for a non-profit health care agency, eventually becoming an art therapist.

10. Can I speak to the commencement speaker or to the honorary degree recipients?
Yes. Contact Jan Wenzel, Department of Communication and Marketing at 401-874-2116 or wenzel@advance.uri.edu.