URI’s 133rd Commencement: By the numbers

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

KINGSTON, R.I. — May 16, 2019 — As many as 15,000 people are expected to gather in Kingston Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, to celebrate the achievements of 3,434 undergraduate and 743 graduate students who will be awarded their degrees at the University of Rhode Island. URI’s Commencement is one of the largest events held annually in Rhode Island.

Here are some key facts for media covering events this weekend:

Graduate School Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.
Ryan Center, 1 Lincoln Almond Plaza
Kingston Campus

Main Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 19
Procession begins at 12:15 p.m. Speaking program begins at 1 p.m.
Quadrangle (Rain site: Ryan Center)

Where are the graduates from?

Our graduating students represent 48 countries and 38 states, plus Puerto Rico. About 55 percent (1,903) of the undergraduates and 63 percent (473) of those from the graduate school are from Rhode Island. After Rhode Island, the top states represented in the Class of 2019 are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

How old are they?

The oldest graduate student is 62 and the youngest is 22. The oldest undergraduate student is 70, and the youngest is 18. And, if you think you’re seeing double, that’s because there are 8 sets of twins in the Undergraduate Class of 2019.

How many veterans?

We are also very honored to list 35 U. S. military veterans among those who will receive undergraduate degrees and 21 veterans who will receive graduate degrees.

What are the percentages of women and men in the graduating class?
About 60 percent (2,063) of the students receiving undergraduate degrees are women and 40 percent (1,366) are men. About 55 percent (413) of the students receiving graduate degrees are women and 43 percent (322) are men.

How is this the 133rd commencement?
Many wonder how this could be the University’s 133rd Commencement when we are 127 years old. According to our history, from 1943 through 1948, two ceremonies were held each year to accommodate the war veterans. Ceremonies were held in June and January or February. In 1944, there were three ceremonies — held in January, May and September.

Watch online
If you can’t see or hear the undergraduate ceremony, you can watch it online at https://livestream.com/universityofrhodeisland/events/8597484. The webcast will begin at noon Sunday and ends at the conclusion of the formal ceremony on the quadrangle.

What happens if it rains Sunday?
On Sunday, if the rain plan is activated, the main commencement ceremony will be held at the Ryan Center. The decision will be made by 7 a.m. and information will be posted on the URI homepage, www.uri.edu, on URI’s automated commencement hotline 401-874-1234, and on our social media sites (http://www.facebook.com/universityofri).