University Commencement

The 2019 Commencement Ceremony for Undergraduate and University College Students will take place on May 18, 2019.

Class of 2019

The 2019 Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 18 beginning precisely at 10:00 a.m. for Undergraduate and University College students. The processional leading into the ceremony will step off at 9:00 a.m.

We encourage all guests to be seated by9:00 ensure the processional can move into the tent and guests get to see the full processional.  

You can access a live stream of the Commencement Exercises at Ustream works well from both PCs and Macs, and will also work for mobile devices.

Key Dates for Commencement 2019 Related Activities:

Wednesday, May 16 - President's Reception for Graduates hosted by President & Mrs. Farish from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Global Heritage Hall. Dress is business casual and graduates must RSVP to or call 401-254-3166. Due to space limitations, this event is for graduates only.

Thursday, May 17 - Commencement Rehearsal - Graduates will participate in rehearsal at 12:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse. Graduates will be briefed on the ceremony and enjoy some time with each other before the big day!

Saturday, May 18 - COMMENCEMENT DAY - Graduates must arrive at the Campus Recreation Center Fieldhouse at 8:15 a.m. Instructions for lining up will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the procession for graduates will promptly leave the Campus Recreation Center at 9:00 a.m. Graduates who arrive late will not be allowed to join the ceremony. 

Please note: Graduates who are receiving tassels or cords from their respective honor societies and other organizations should make sure they have them prior to that morning. The only tassels given out on the morning of Commencement will be for high honors (summa cum laude -- 3.8 GPA, magna cum laude -- 3.6 GPA, and cum laude -- 3.4 GPA). Those graduates receiving high honors will have the honor listed on the name card they pick up when they enter the Fieldhouse. These honors are based on fall semester cumulative averages. Students must have completed at least 54 credits at RWU to be eligible to receive these honors. 

Attending Commencement

Transportation & Parking

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Due to the large number of graduates and guests participating in the ceremony, parking on campus will be difficult. Graduates living on campus must park in Lot A or the parking garage only. Guests and graduates arriving from off campus must enter through the North Campus Road and park in the North Parking Lots (Lots C & D). No parking will be allowed in the lots surrounding the Campus Recreation Center. Campus shuttles will run throughout the day to transport graduates and their guests to and from the ceremony and receptions. Please plan on arriving early.

Commencement Parking Map

Graduates or guests with disabilities or special needs should submit their request by completing the online form located below by May 1, 2018: Assisted Parking & Seating Form


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The gates to the field on which the commencement tents are located open at 8 a.m. and seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Please, for the courtesy of others, there is no excessive seat saving. Guests must present their ticket to be allowed access through the gates. It is recommended that guests arrive before 9:00 a.m. and are in their seats no later than 9:15 a.m. if they would like to be seated before the processional enters the tent. While we encourage guests to arrive early, no one is allowed to take their seat before 8:00 a.m.

Simulcast of Ceremony

The ceremony will be simulcast in the Campus Recreation Center Gymnasium for additional guests. No tickets are needed at this location. Graduates may invite as many guests as they would like but realize that seating under the tent is limited to 6 tickets per graduate.

We are happy to announce that RWU's Commencement ceremony will have Live Real-time Captioning available. Captions can be accessed on your personal device by visiting the link  below:

Security Notice

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Fire regulations prohibit any guest to stand on the outskirts of tent. Everyone must be seated. Strollers should be placed along the back of the tent to keep aisles open for egress. University policy prohibits bringing pets on campus grounds and in buildings unless it is a certified service animal accompanying their owner. The service animal must wear its credentials.

    School Receptions

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    Informal receptions for each respective school follows the ceremony and we encourage graduates and their guests to attend these gatherings. The locations for these receptions will be listed in the commencement program you will receive at the ceremony.

    President's Reception for Graduates
    President Farish will host a special reception for graduates on Wednesday, May 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in GHH. Appetizers, beer and wine will be served. (ID will be required.) Please RSVP to or call 401-254-3166 by May 9th. Dress is business casual. Due to space limitations, this event is for graduates only.  No guests please.


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    Island Photography will take the traditional picture as students receive their diploma as well as a still shot before students go on stage. Island Photography will contact graduates after commencement provided the student has given their contact information. For more information, please go to their website at: or call them at 800.869.0908.

    Commencement Slide Show Pictures

    Students are encouraged to submit pictures for our annual slide show prior to commencement. Due to privacy/permission issues, we cannot accept pictures from sources other than the graduates themselves. Pictures will be accepted via email to by May 1, 2018. The slide show provides some entertainment for the guests awaiting the start of the ceremony. Please keep in mind the audience when selecting pictures for the slide show. Also, the slide show may be posted to the web following the ceremony. Please note: the Commencement Office reserves the right to not include pictures it deems inappropriate for the ceremony and to limit the number of pictures per student.

    Parent & Family Resources

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    A Commencement Luncheon is held in our Upper Commons Dining Room immediately following the commencement ceremony and is offered at various seating times from 12:30 - 2:30 pm. This brunch is an all you can eat buffet with family and friends with a cash wine & beer bar. Avoid the hassle of making reservations at busy local restaurants and celebrate with fellow RWU graduates and families. Reservations are required and seating is limited.

    To reserve a table, view the menu and pricing, please visit: For more information or questions, please contact Stephanie Keith at or 401-254-3217.


    Commencement Flowers Inc., a professional florist, will be on hand before and during the Commencement Ceremony. They will be located near the front entrance to the tent on the field. For your convenience, you can pre-purchase and reserve flowers ahead of time and have them available for pick-up at Commencement. Please visit their website at for more information.