Commencement 2017: Communication Studies Major to be URI Commencement student speaker

Colin Rumbel was selected as student speaker for the Class of 2017 and will present a parting message to his peers on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

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Class of 2017: Student Commencement Speaker Colin Rumbel

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 27, 2017 – Like thousands of other seniors at the University of Rhode Island, Colin Rumbel, from Mansfield, Mass., is going down his checklist to prepare for graduation day: Final exams, papers, presentations, job applications, tickets, and cap and gown. But his list includes just one more thing that’s vital for the ceremony — his speech. Rumbel was selected as student speaker for the Class of 2017 and will present a parting message to his peers on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

A communication studies and public relations major, Rumbel said he applied to be student speaker so he could share words that would leave every graduating senior feeling the sense of community that he has felt throughout his years at URI.

“My goal with this speech is to relate in some way to every student who is graduating — at least for one split second,” said Rumbel. “It is also to remind my peers that although we may be on different paths, together we can be a great force to make a beautiful change in the world.”
His speech will celebrate the lessons learned, the bonds made and even some funny moments he has experienced through his time at URI. He said since he first stepped on campus for a tour in 2013, URI was the only place he could really picture himself.

“Now during my orientation sessions, I always look at the faces of students who seem awestruck. That is just how I felt on my first tour here, when I was looking for a college I could call home. That shows how special this place is and how true my first impression was,” Rumbel said.

After commencement, Rumbel will consider options to start his career in communication and public relations. Last year he was an intern at Citizens Bank where he says he confirmed his communications career path.

“I worked on various projects and gained many skills that I wouldn’t haven’t been able to develop unless I took the chance and stepped outside of the classroom,” said Rumbel. “I am so thankful for my time there and couldn’t be more thrilled that I know I can always reach out to any of the Citizens employees I had the pleasure to work with and learn from.”

On campus, in addition to being an orientation leader for New Student Programs, Rumbel was a role model and peer leader to many fellow students, especially those enrolled in the leadership studies program. He has also worked in Commuter Affairs, was very active in his fraternity, and in various community service and philanthropic projects.

He has won several academic awards including the Public Relations Excellence Award for Leadership; Public Relations Excellence Award as Outstanding Mentor; Rainville Award- Student Organization of Leadership Consultants; First-Year Leadership Excellence Award and the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s Most Successful Big & Little award.