Next Commencement: May 30, 2015

RISD’s next Commencement ceremony takes place on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence, adjacent to the space that houses the annual RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Roughly 700 graduates and thousands of guests enjoyed the ebullience of the 2014 festivities on May 31, where design visionary Bruce Mau delivered the keynote address and honorary degrees were presented to design leader Todd Oldham and cultural, diplomatic and health advocate Jean Kennedy Smith.

Celebrated in a uniquely RISD way, Commencement is a colorful event that tops off the intensity of the studio experience with more joy and exuberance than pomp and circumstance. Graduates typically take the opportunity to transform their caps and gowns in idiosyncratic ways – by painting, shredding, reimagining and embellishing them in whatever way they choose.

Commencement invitations will be sent to families in April 2015. In the meantime, please address any questions to Student Affairs at 401 454-6600 or

Please plan to reserve accommodations well in advance since hotels in the area fill up fast. Prior to the event, a limited number of reduced-rate rooms are reserved for RISD families at the Providence Biltmore or the Omni Providence.




Watch for more information on the 2015 event as the academic year gets underway. A dedicated website to provide graduating students and families with more information will be available in February 2015.

Family and friends interested in reserving hotel rooms at reduced rates will be directed to check the Providence Biltmore and the Omni Providence sites once blocks of rooms have been set aside for guests attending RISD Commencement.



Student Affairs Office
401 454-6600



RISD Commencement 

Saturday May 30, 2015

Saturday June 4, 2016 (tentative

Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.