Commencement Parents page

RISD’s 2017 Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 3.

Check the Commencement website ( for emerging details about this year’s ceremony and related events.

A joyous, vibrant celebration, Commencement offers parents and families the opportunity to mark this significant milestone with new graduates. Graduating students typically take the opportunity to transform their caps and gowns in idiosyncratic ways – by painting, shredding, reimagining and embellishing them to make a more personal artistic statement or simply to have fun with this colorful RISD tradition.

The 2015 Commencement ceremony took place on Saturday, May 30 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence. Approximately 670 graduates and thousands of guests gathered for the 2015 festivities, where filmmaker John Waters delivered the keynote address and accepted an honorary degree. Honorary degrees were also being presented to musicians Chris Frantz 74 PT, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth 74 FAV – members of the breakthrough band Talking Heads – and author and writer Adam Gopnik.

read about the 2015 Commencement ceremony (and watch video excerpts) »
read about the 2014 Commencement ceremony (and watch video excerpts) »

Guests attending Commencement are advised to reserve accommodations well in advance since hotels in the area fill up fast. Visit our new Campus Travel Portal to book with any of RISD’s partner hotels at negotiated rates.


Please call or email Student Affairs at 401 454-6600 or with any questions about Commencement.

Furniture Design students walk along the riverfront, carrying their projects to class.