URI’s 122nd commencement

Posted on
May 9, 2008

Answers to the 10 most commonly asked questions

by media covering URI’s commencement weekend:

First, the basics:

Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 17, 2008, 1 p.m.

Ryan Center

Kingston Campus

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 18, 2008, 12:30 p.m.

Quadrangle (Rain site Ryan Center)

Kingston Campus



Degrees: 2,871 undergraduates students, including 86 students in the 6-year pharmacy degree program.

Rhode Islanders: 1,733

Males: 1,225

Females: 1,646

Oldest: 70

Youngest: 19

Twins: 5 sets

Veterans: 34 (24 male, 10 female)


Degrees: 643

Rhode Islanders: 456

Males: 235

Females: 405

Oldest: 74

Youngest: 22

BOTTOM LINE: Approximately a total of 3,514 students will graduate from the University of Rhode Island during commencement weekend, May 17 and May 18.

1. Do I need a media pass?

Yes, 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 office located at the URI Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road. We’re on the first floor, room 100. In the event of rain, you can get the media pass in media room 117 of the Ryan Center.

2. Do I need a parking pass?

No. Parking for the undergraduate ceremonies is off Briar Lane. Graduate exercises take place on Saturday in the Ryan Center.

3. What happens if it rains on Sunday?

The undergraduate ceremony will be held in the Ryan Center.

4. Is there any place to use a phone during Sunday’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies? You are welcome to use our office in the Alumni Center, Room 100 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 Center’s media room. We will even have snacks for members of the hard working Fourth Estate.

5. How many students are graduating this year?

About 643 graduate students will receive degrees on Saturday, May 17 and approximately 2,871 undergraduate students will receive degrees on Sunday, May 18. Potential August 2008 graduates who have one or two courses to complete are included in the count. Approximately a total of 3,514 students will graduate during commencement weekend.

6. Who is this year’s commencement speaker?

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page will speak at the University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m.

7. Who will receive honorary degrees this year?

Six people will receive honorary degrees during the undergraduate commencement ceremonies: The commencement speaker Clarence Page will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Architect William D. Warner, will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree; Ambassador Christopher Hill will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Michael Fascitelli will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Douglas Durand will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; and URI Professor Emerita Agnes Doody will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

8. Who is this year’s student commencement speaker? Gabriel “Gabe” Mancuso of Edison, N.J. who will graduate with degrees in political science and economics, will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

9. Can I speak to the commencement speaker or to the honorary degree recipients?

Yes. Contact Jan Wenzel at URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing in advance for details at 401-874-2116.

10. How does undergraduate commencement begin?

You’ll hear sounds of a bagpipe. Bagpiper John Sullivan has led URI’s Commencement procession for a number of years. Fully attired in highland regalia, including kilt and sporran, Sullivan marches ahead of the 50th Reunion Class, which is followed by the faculty marshals, graduating seniors, and the platform members –honorary degree recipients and members who will hood them; URI Foundation Excellence Award winners, Board of Governor’s members, local and federal office holders, URI administrators, deans, and the student speaker.


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