While the RISD community is anything but traditional, certain cyclical events bring a sense of celebration—along with ritual and tradition—to campus. Most of these tend to be joyous, creative, colorful and satisfying on many levels, especially in terms of reinforcing our shared sense of values.

Annual Events

Orientation

Upperclass students help design and run this fun series of programs to assist new students with the transition to life at RISD.

RISD Weekend

Held in October, our annual alumni reunion and parents’ weekend offers demos, workshops, open studios, receptions and an outdoor juried sales exhibition of alumni and student work.

MLK Series

Honoring the life and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., this series brings national advocates for justice and equality to campus to reinforce our community’s commitment to service and public engagement.

Artists’ Ball

Every fall—close to Halloween—students dress up for colorful mashup of creative fun punctuated by plenty of loud music and dancing.

Open Studios

Towards the end of every semester, undergrads in all 16 major departments and grad students in 18 master’s degree programs invite people to stop by to see work in progress.

Graduate Thesis Exhibition

A public exhibition of our graduate students' final bodies of work, the Graduate Thesis Exhibition represents the culmination of the RISD graduate school experience

Commencement

Fun and relatively informal, this colorful ceremony offers a suitably celebratory salute to our newest art and design standouts.