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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Commencement 2012: URI's 126th Commencement: Just the Facts

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

The Events: As many as 15,000 people are expected to gather in Kingston, R.I. on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, to celebrate the achievements of the more than 2,963 undergraduate and 738 graduate students who will receive their degrees at the University of Rhode Island. URI's undergraduate Commencement is one of the largest single-day events held annually in Rhode Island.

Where are Our Graduates From? About 63 percent (1,866) of the undergraduate and 64 percent (522) of the graduate degrees will be awarded to students who are from Rhode Island. After Rhode Island, the top states our undergraduate students hail from are Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, 179. There are eight international undergraduate and 27 graduate students.

Men and Women: About 58 percent (1,720) of the students to receive undergraduate degrees are women and 42 percent (1,243) are men. Graduate degrees will be awarded 57 percent (414) women and 43 percent (318) men. Also, the oldest graduate student is 70 and the youngest is 22. The oldest undergraduate student is 67, the youngest is 19, and if you think you're seeing double, that's because there are and eight sets of twins in the Class of 2012. We are also very honored to include sixteen U. S. Veterans among those who will receive undergraduate degrees.

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker: Acclaimed author and human rights attorney with a passion for justice and defense of the disenfranchised, Marlen Suyapa Bodden will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20. In recognition of her unflinching support of those whose voices are rarely heard, for sharing researched stories of the past to reflect on the present and for her unique contributions to the nation, she will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws.

Graduate Commencement Speaker: University of Rhode Island Psychology Professor Lisa Harlow will address the graduate students at commencement ceremonies. Harlow is well known for her scholarship, leadership, and teaching related to increasing interest, retention, performance, and diversity in quantitative science.

Honorary Degrees: In addition to Bodden, the University will confer honorary degrees upon: Amy DeVaudreuil '97, a noted attorney working in areas related to affordable housing; Colonel Philip J. Saulnier '62, a U.S. Army veteran honored for decades of post-retirement service to our veterans; and Shivan Subramaniam, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FM Global.

Student Speaker: Classical Studies major and stellar student Mary McGunigal of Warwick, was chosen to address her peers at the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Three months later, she will enter the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.