University of Rhode Island to introduce new fall commencement ceremony

The ceremony, planned for Dec. 16 at the Ryan Center, will celebrate graduates who complete degree requirements during the fall semester

KINGSTON, R.I. — Sept. 26, 2023 – The University of Rhode Island is introducing a new fall commencement ceremony to celebrate undergraduate and graduate students who complete their degree requirements during the fall semester. 

The 2023 fall ceremony will be held Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Ryan Center on the Kingston Campus.

“We are excited to introduce this new tradition at the University of Rhode Island,” said President Marc Parlange. “For many of our recent graduates who completed their studies during the fall, it has been difficult to return to campus for the spring commencement ceremony. This new ceremony provides an opportunity for us to celebrate with them as a community.”

The new celebration does not replace the University’s spring commencement, traditionally held in May, but, rather, introduces an additional ceremony to the annual commencement calendar. The occasion will feature one unified ceremony recognizing both undergraduate and graduate degree candidates.

More than 800 students are expected to complete degree requirements during the current fall semester. Many of those graduates will be employed or in graduate school at the time of the spring ceremony and may not have the flexibility to return to Kingston for the May event. On average, more than 90 percent of URI graduates are employed or pursuing graduate studies within six months of their URI graduation, according to a survey of recent graduates. By introducing a fall commencement, the University is providing a more immediate opportunity for graduates and families to celebrate their achievement.

The new ceremony is the result of conversations with recent graduates and current students who expressed interest in a December celebration. “We spoke with many current and former students,” Parlange noted. “And there was great excitement at the prospect of a fall ceremony.”

Graduates who participate in the fall ceremony may also return in May to participate in the spring ceremony.

Students should apply for graduation through their degree-granting college and work with their academic advisor as needed. Students who apply for graduation will receive additional information about how to participate in the December ceremony.