Commencement 2013: Ryan Center will be site of URIs 2013 commencement ceremony

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URI president cites security for community

URI Live!

Undergraduate & Graduate Commencement ceremonies at the Ryan Center will be streamed on URI Live

KINGSTON, R.I. — May 7, 2013 — University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley has announced that URI’s 127th undergraduate commencement exercises will be held at the Thomas M. Ryan Center on Sunday, May 19. The decision to move commencement to the Ryan Center this year reflects the ongoing assessment of safety and security measures across the University.

The Ryan Center is the largest and most appropriate venue to accommodate the more than 3,000 undergraduates and some of their guests (each graduating student will receive two guest tickets with their cap and gown). The Ryan Center already serves as an alternative location for commencement. The University has a comprehensive plan in place for that site. This will be the second time since 2009 that the Ryan Center has been used for the main commencement ceremony.

It is at the individual college ceremonies where families and friends will be able to see the important moment – when their student crosses the stage to receive their degree. No tickets are needed at these locations.

“The decision to activate our alternative location plan this year was made after a review of multiple alternatives and a thorough examination of best practices for ensuring safety at such a large and critical event,” said President Dooley. ”Recent events remind us all that, even in the safety of our own communities, we must be vigilant. These events have reinforced our resolve to improve all that we do to ensure the safety of our community. We want everyone who attends our 2013 Commencement ceremonies to have a day full of joy and pride. That begins with doing all we can to provide a safe environment for our celebrations.”

Every graduating senior will receive two tickets for their guests to attend the 90-minute main ceremony, at which commencement speeches and honorary degrees are presented. The main ceremony will be streamed live on large screens at five satellite viewing locations (Edwards Hall, Keaney Gymnasium, Mackal Field House, Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, and Memorial Union Ram’s Den).

To enter the Ryan Center, all individuals must show URI campus identification, a Ryan Center pass or commencement regalia (caps and gowns). The Ryan Center prohibits re-entry to all events, including commencement.

After the main ceremony ends at about 2 p.m., the remaining college ceremonies will take place. Visit the URI Commencement website for details (

The University recommends that students and guests evaluate the contents of their bags and pockets as they may be subject to search, as needed. Guests are prohibited from bringing balloons, backpacks or duffel bags. Bags larger than 1 cubic foot (12” x 12” x12”) will not be permitted unless there is a medical or childcare related reason; in such cases they may be subject to additional security and increased delays. People with these special needs should plan on arriving early to accommodate any potential delay. Best practice is to leave all bags in your car(s).

Although security measures will take a little time, commencement staff will be there to assist and welcome guests. Please remember to bring tickets and/or other credentials.

The Commencement Schedule is as follows:

9:30 a.m. College of Engineering Ceremony, Mackal Field House

10 a.m. College of Continuing Education Ceremony, Fine Arts Recital Hall

College of Nursing Ceremony, Keaney Gymnasium

10 a.m. Doors open at Ryan Center for main commencement ceremony (for bachelor’s degree candidates graduates and guests with tickets)

Doors open for livecast viewing of main commencement ceremony in Edwards Hall and the Memorial Union Rams Den

11:30 a.m. Doors open for livecast viewing of main commencement ceremony at the Fine Arts Center, Keaney Gymnasium and Mackal Field House

12:30 p.m. Main commencement exercises begin at the Ryan Center. Ceremony includes speeches and honorary degree presentations.

2:00 p.m. College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony, Ryan Center

College of Business Administration Ceremony, Keaney Gymnasium

College of the Environment and Life Sciences Ceremony, Ryan Center

College of Human Science and Services Ceremony, Mackal Field House

College of Pharmacy Ceremony, Edwards Hall

Please Note:

  • Access to campus buildings not involved in commencement will be restricted throughout Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.
  • Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses will be available around campus at no charge; campus vans will also be running in a continuous loop to and from the Ryan Center and the college commencement/viewing sites.
  • For security reasons, students attending graduate commencement on Saturday or the undergraduate ceremonies Sunday must present their URI campus identification and be dressed in regalia as they enter the Ryan Center. Those who do not have their URI IDs will need to present their driver’s license and be checked against the graduate list before being allowed into the facility. Undergraduate students must also present their IDs at the college sites.
  • For Sunday’s program, individuals with disabilities who have a ticket to the Ryan Center main commencement will be able to get a wheelchair at the building. Other guests who need a wheelchair should go the Memorial Union Atrium.