Class of 2020 Commencement Celebrations

The RWU community is thrilled at the chance to bring our 2020 graduates back to campus for their very own Commencement celebration!  We have worked very hard to design the special event that you so deserve and we weren’t able to provide for you last year. This return-to-campus weekend of celebration and ceremony will honor your accomplishments and bring us all together in the spirit of community. 

On Sunday, May 23, RWU will present a virtual Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020, that will feature a livestream Grad Walk. Graduates participating in the Grad Walk will have their name read and be honored as they “process” across the stage. To maintain the health and safety of our graduates, faculty, staff and community, graduates will be allowed to bring no more than two guests to watch their processional. Family and friends will be invited to watch a live broadcast of the Grad Walk. 

We understand these plans are not ideal for graduates and their families, but we are determined to give our graduates a day that is theirs; a day that is purely graduate focused as we mark their achievement individually and still include family and friends virtually.


Class of 2020 Celebration Schedule*

We hope to be able to follow the schedule below come May.  Please understand that these events may change and new restrictions could apply. Graduates will be required to register for events. A registration link will come soon.

*Graduates planning to attend must adhere to COVID safety protocols prior to arriving and while they are on campus. (See COVID Protocols below).

DateEventLocationTime
Saturday, May 22, 2021

President's Class of 2020 Reception

(Graduates only. No guests. Registration required.)

Upper Commons6:00- 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 23, 2021

Class of 2020 Grad Walk

(Registration required.)

 

Recreation Center, Bristol Campus

9:00 a.m.

 

Class of 2020 Brunch: Co-Sponsored by the Commencement Office and Alumni Association

(Registration required.)

Upper Commons10:00 a.m.

 


 Sunday, May 23, 2021

Grad Walk

  • The RWU Class of 2020 commencement ceremony will include a livestream of their Grad Walk, starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 23.
  • Graduates of the Class of 2020 (undergraduate and graduate degrees earned in May/August 2020) will be invited to participate in a Grad Walk across a celebratory stage at a scheduled time in the Campus Recreation Center on the Bristol Campus.
  • Pre-registration will be required for any and all events. Graduates will receive an email to register them and their two (2) guests.
  • The graduate will receive a printed Commencement Program, have their name read, and an individual professional photograph taken.

Grad Walk Schedule

2020 Grad Walk Schedule

Grad Walk Registration:

GRAD WALK REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED! 

If you forgot to register to participate in the Grad Walk, please email events@rwu.edu with the following information:

  • The names of your two guests attending the Grad Walk with you.
    • Whether or not you will be attending the President's Graduate Reception on May 22, 2021.
    • Whether or not you will be attending the Class of 2020 Brunch on May 23.
  • Eligible graduates will receive an email from Marching Order to register for a 15 minute grad walk time slot in their school's scheduled time slot.  Please keep an eye on your inbox!
  • Eligible graduates MUST register by May 6 through Marching Order to secure your slot and register your two (2) guests.  
  • After you register via Marching Order, you will receive a unique QR code that will act as your ticket and name card for Commencement Day.
  • On the day of the Commencement Grad Walk, graduates and their guests MUST check-in  TOGETHER 15 minutes prior to their scheduled grad walk time slot.  This allows staff to check you and your two guests in, confirm negative test results of you and your guests, and line you up at your Grad Walk location.

    Safety Measures

    Under the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Rhode Island Department of Health, all safety protocols will be followed:

    • Surfaces will be sanitized between each school grad walk.
    • Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the building.
    • Graduates, guests, and staff will always be socially distanced.
    • Graduates, guests, and staff will be required to wear masks.
    • Graduates who plan to participate in any activities for the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 22 or Sunday May 23, 2021 will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test result 72 hours prior to arrival.  Guests who plan to join their graduate for the Grad Walk must also provide proof of a negative COVID test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Those graduates and guests unable to provide proof of a negative test result will not be allowed on campus or in the residence halls. (See full COVID testing policies below.) 

    Please be advised that RWU will continue to monitor the State of Rhode Island COVID-19 restrictions, and be prepared to tighten protocols if necessary. Any updates will be communicated to graduates via email and posted on this website.

    Please see further detailed information below:

    COVID TESTING POLICY:

    Every person stepping foot on campus must be tested 72 hours prior to arrival and have proof of a negative COVID test to enter the building and participate in the Grad Walk. BOTH PCR and Rapid test results are acceptable.  If you cannot show proof of a negative COVID test, you may not enter the building and you cannot participate. 

    Please click HERE to go to the Rhode Island COVID website for testing locations.

    Vaccination cards are NOT accepted in lieu of a negative COVID test, per the State of Rhode Island.  All attendees for commencement, event those that have received a vaccination, must provide a negative test result of a recent COVID test taken 72 hours prior in order to participate in the event. This is a requirement from the State of Rhode Island for our event.

    Please reference your group below for further testing details:

    ALL GRADUATES & GUESTS:

    ALL graduates and guests are required to have a COVID test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus and MUST show proof of a negative test result before entering the Grad Walk.  Any graduate or guest who cannot show proof of a negative test result will be refused entry. Guests who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 still have to take a test and show proof of a negative result, per the State of Rhode Island.

    Any graduate attending the Presidential event on Saturday, May 22, must show proof a negative COVID test prior to that event.

    STAFF:

    ALL staff working and volunteering for Commencement Saturday and Sunday must continue in the campus testing program, testing twice a week.  We remind staff to schedule their second weekly test Wednesday/Thursday of Commencement week.  If an employee tests positive, they cannot come to work/campus and we ask they let us know they cannot work their shift in advance. If any employee that is scheduled to work commencement day and does not feel well the day of, they will be asked NOT to come to campus and notify us in advance.

    MASKS

    All staff, students, guests, and vendors MUST wear a mask at all times when on campus. 

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    All staff, students and guests MUST practice social distancing directed by the State of Rhode Island.  Stay at least six (6) feet from people outside the same household.  There can be no gathering of groups

    RWU must adhere to all rules set forth by the State of Rhode Island regarding COVID.  All of the above COVID protocols and procedures above will be strictly enforced.

    • Please use this website as your main resource for information, as it will be updated with all the necessary details they need on an ongoing basis.
    • Graduates of the Class of 2020 will always receive an email from the Commencement Office when there are any updates and new information to share.
    • Graduates must RSVP for any event they plan to attend via Marching Order.  Graduates will receive a direct email from Marching Order to register. Graduates will register their two (2) guests along with themselves through Marching Order.
    • Graduates will have an opportunity to create an individual frame and slide for the grad walk live-stream and final video when they register for the Grad Walk.   
    • Graduates MUST register by May 6 through Marching Order to secure your slot and register for events.  
    • Graduates who plan to participate in any activities for the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 22 or Sunday May 23, 2021 will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival.  Those graduates unable to provide a negative test result will not be allowed on campus or in the residence halls. (Please see COVID Testing policies above.)
    • Graduates who are unable or choose not to participate in the Grad Walk will still need to register online as we need to account for all those who will be on campus that day. These graduates who do not participate physically in the Grad Walk will have an opportunity to provide information for the final Commencement video.

    *Graduates are allowed to bring two (2) guests ONLY.  There are NO exceptions to this rule.  Please review COVID testing policies for you and your guests.

    IMPORTANT:  DAY-OF GRAD WALK

    • Graduates, with their two (2) guests, must check-in TOGETHER 15-minutes prior to their scheduled time slot.
    • If graduates arrive late for their time slot, staff will work them in at the end of their school's scheduled time. 

    Graduates Special Accommodations

    Eligible graduates that require special accommodations to participate in the Grad Walk on Saturday should email events@rwu.edu prior to May 1st, 2021.

    Regalia

    If you did not obtain your regalia last spring, you will have an opportunity to order your regalia online and have shipped directly to you.  If you lost your regalia from last spring, and/or it is damaged, the graduate is responsible for purchasing their own replacement. 

    • Graduates participating in the Grad Walk will need to arrive for their grad walk dressed and ready to go in their regalia.
    • ONLINE ORDERING IS NOW CLOSED DUE TO SHIPPING TIMES.  You'll need to pick-up your regalia in person at the Bookstore or make arrangements with them.  (Email link at the bottom of this section.)

    Bookstore Hours: Monday/Tuesday 9a-5p; Wednesday-Friday 9a-4p; Saturday 10a-2p.

    FAQ:  Can I decorate my cap?  YES!  Your cap is yours to keep.  We kindly ask that you be mindful and respectful in your decorations.

    Questions regarding cap & gown?  Contact the Bookstore HERE.

    Cords

    Cords and/or stoles are distributed by the respective program or department.  Please contact your advisor for details on specific cords if you did not receive them last spring.

    Honors

    Honor tassels were mailed with the diploma cover to the graduates homes this past fall. If you did not receive yours, please contact the Registrar's office HERE.

    Graduates from the Class of 2020 should have already received their diploma and diploma cover in the mail.  If you did not, please contact the Registrar’s OfficeHERE.

    We encourage any alum from the Class of 2020 to apply to sing the National Anthem for their Commencement Day! 

    Requirements:

    • Applicants must be cleared to graduate by the Registrar's Office to be eligible for selection. 
    • Attach your current resume, including prior singing/performance experience 
    • Be available the last week of April to audition via Zoom for the selection committee.
    • The selected singer will record the National Anthem via Zoom to be a part of the virtual 2020 Commencement Program.

    NATIONAL ANTHEM SINGER APPLICATION

    The deadline to submit applications is Monday, April 19, 2021 by 4:30 p.m.  

    Questions?  Contact events@rwu.edu

    • To maintain the health and safety of our community, and to meet the restrictions of the State of Rhode Island, graduates will be allowed to bring no more than two guests to watch their processional, and then will immediately depart campus to view the remainder of the ceremony remotely. 
    • For the health and safety of our campus community, graduates, family and friends, everyone must wear a mask at all times on campus (indoors and outside) and provide proof of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours prior to the day. All guests are required to have a COVID test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus and MUST show proof of a negative test result before entering the Grad Walk.  Any guest who cannot show proof of a negative test result will be refused entry.  Guests who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 still have to take a test and show proof of a negative result, per the State of Rhode Island. (Please reference COVID protocol section above.)
    • The virtual commencement ceremony, which will highlight the Keynote speaker, the student commencement speaker and the student National Anthem singer will be pre-recorded and posted on the Commencement website to view.
    • The Grad Walk will be live-streamed on RWU’s Commencement website for family and friends to have a front row view of their student on stage.
    • After Commencement, a final, polished video will be posted on our website that will include all pre-recorded segments and the live recordings.

    Residence Halls

    REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE RESIDENCE HALLS.

    The Department of Residential Life and Conferences are able to offer limited housing at Baypoint to graduates who are in need of a place to stay Saturday night.  Those interested in staying at Baypoint on Saturday (May 22, 2021) night MUST request this in the Grad Walk registration from Marching Order.  

    IMPORTANT:  Due to occupancy limitations in an effort to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19, the amount of beds available for the Class of 2020 will be limited. ONLY RWU alumni from the Class of 2020 can register to stay in the residence halls.  No outside guests are allowed due to spacing limitations.  All requests must be made on or before May 6th.  Requests made on or before May 6th will receive a housing questionnaire from the Department of Conferences which will be due on May 4th. Requests will be processed at a first come, first serve basis- additional priorities will be given to students who have a confirmed roommate also staying for the night. Students will be notified no later than May 19th if they have housing for the night.”    

    Please take note of the accommodations:  The Department of Conferences will only be able to provide the following for your overnight stay and ask alumni to bring the following:

    RWU Housing will provide: soap, toilet paper and trash receptacle.

    Alumni must bring:  sheets (size full or twin), pillow, blankets and towels.

    Hotels

    Please visit the University's Accommodations page for a full list of hotels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

    Available Hotel Room Blocks under Roger Williams University Commencement:

    Bristol Harbor Inn
    259 Thames Street, Bristol RI, 02809
    401-254-1444

    Ramada Hotel
    213 Taunton Ave, Seekonk MA, 02771
    508-336-8700

    Graduates and guests should park in Lot D of campus.  Public Safety will be present to direct guests to the appropriate lot.

    There are ample handicap parking spots in every parking lot on campus for guests requiring those needs.

    Please reference the Campus Parking map HERE.

    We ask guests to arrive for their time slot accordingly.  We understand guests want to beat the traffic and may arrive too early for their time slot.  If you arrive to campus too far in advance of your scheduled time slot, please stay in your car until it's time to check-in.  We cannot have groups and gatherings outside the Recreation Center.  We appreciate your cooperation.

    QuestionDepartmentEmail/WebsitePhone
    General InformationCommencement Office/Special Events

    events@rwu.edu

    401-254-3166
    Caps & GownsBookstore 401-254-3036
    Diplomas & Honors TasselsRegistrargraduationcoordinator@rwu.edu401-254-3151