Commencement 2022 graphic, Mary Yang MFA GD 17 and Suzie Shin GD 17

Commencement 2022


June 4, 2022
Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI

On Saturday, June 4, doors open at the Dunkin Donuts Center at 8 am for this year’s Commencement ceremony. The processional begins at 9 am. Seating is first-come, first-serve unless you have made an accessibility request. Please remind your student to request tickets for the ceremony if they have not already done so.

This year’s Graduate Hooding Ceremony takes place at the First Baptist Church in America (just across the street from 20 Washington Place) on Friday, June 3, the afternoon before Commencement. Graduates taking part in the ceremony can receive a maximum of two tickets for their guests.

Looking for other activities of interest on June 4? Immediately following the Commencement ceremony at noon, we will hold a community reception on campus in Market Square. In addition, RISD Craft will take place from 10 am–4 pm on Benefit Street. Finally, we'll end the night with a special Waterfire lighting, which kicks off at dusk (8 pm in June) and runs until about 10–11 pm.

Please bookmark this page and check back for updates.

More information

Commencement dates and deadlines
Information for families
Information for students
Venue information and accessibility
COVID-19 policies
RISD Reunion Weekend
Public events
Class of 2020 information
Commencement speakers and honorees
Academic receptions
Contact us

(top image credit: Mary Yang MFA 17 GD and Suzie Shin 17 GD)

Commencement dates and deadlines

Mark your calendar and check back here for more important Commencement 2022 deadlines and dates as they are announced.

Commencement events

May 31–June 2: CommenceFEST (various locations on campus)
June 2: Awards Lunch (noon–1:30 pm eastern, location tbd)
June 3: Academic receptions (noon–6 pm, various locations on campus)
June 3: Graduate Hooding Ceremony (1:30–3 pm eastern, First Baptist Church in America)
June 3: All-Campus Dance and Lantern Lighting (8–8:30 pm, Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Bridge)
June 4: Commencement Ceremony (9 am–noon, Dunkin Donuts Center; doors open at 8 am)

For families

This year RISD celebrates the Class of 2022 as part of Commencement and Reunion Weekend—bringing together graduates and alumni in a campus-wide, community celebration. We expect the campus will be alive with activity from June 2–5 and encourage families attending their student’s graduation to plan their trip early.  

Find below information on transportation, hotels and lodging, dining options, and important information for international families traveling to the US.

Unfamiliar with campus?
RISD is located just off of I‑95 and I‑195 in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence. Our official address is Two College Street.

  1. Families and friends traveling from outside the US who require a visa will need an official letter of invitation from RISD. Graduating students should contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) to begin the invitation process as soon as possible.

  2. Airports

    T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)
    Warwick, RI (12 miles from Providence)

    RISD is about a 15-20 minute ride from Green Airport. You can find flight information at pvdairport.com or by calling +1 401 737-8222. Many local hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport.

    Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
    Boston, MA (55 miles from Providence)

    Depending on traffic, Logan airport is about a 1.5-hour drive to RISD’s campus.

    You can find flight information at massport.com/logan-airport and +1 800 23-LOGAN (+1 800 235-6426).

    Trains

    Both Amtrak and the Massachusetts MBTA offer service to Providence.

    Amtrak

    Schedules and fares can be found at amtrak.com or +1 800 USA-RAIL (+1 800 872-7245).

    MBTA

    The MBTA’s Attleboro/Stoughton Line provides service between Providence and Boston. Schedules and fares can be found at mbta.com and +1 617 222-3200.

    Buses

    Peter Pan Bus Company

    Peter Pan offers daily express service to and from Green Airport in Warwick and Logan Airport in Boston, as well as major metro areas such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

    Schedules are available online or by calling +1 401 751-8800.

    Greyhound

    Greyhound offers bus service between Providence and major metropolitan areas like Boston, New York and Washington, DC.

    Schedules and fares are available online or by calling +1 800 229-9424, +1 402 330-8552 (if you’re calling from abroad without toll-free access), +1 800 752-4841 (for assistance for passengers with disabilities) or +1 800 345-3109 (TDD).

    Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)

    Local bus service for easy and inexpensive transportation within Rhode Island, including the Providence/Newport ferry.

    Rental cars

    If you are traveling by plane and need to reserve a rental car, you can find a list of services on the Green Airport and Logan Airport websites.

    Ridesharing and car-sharing

    On-demand transportation is available through Uber and Lyft, and at dozens of zipcar locations on or near campus.

    RISD shuttle service

    Guests with mobility needs requiring transportation from campus to commencement events should call RISD Rides at +1 401 427-6915.

  3. RISD has arranged for discounted group rates at local hotels for alumni and families attending Commencement and Reunion Weekend. We expect these blocks to fill fast. For more information on these hotels, please visit the hotels and lodging page at alumni.risd.edu.

    You can also find more hotel options in and around Providence on hotels.com, tripadvisor.com and other travel and hospitality sites.

    Homesharing and other options

    Guests can rent short-term accommodations in Providence through Airbnb, the global hospitality marketplace founded by RISD alumni Brian Chesky 04 ID and Joe Gebbia 05 GD/ID.

  4. Providence has a vibrant food culture offering a variety of cuisines and dining experiences. Many of these options are within a short walk of RISD’s College Hill campus and the downtown area surrounding the Commencement venue.

    Tables fill up fast throughout the city during Commencement week, so be sure to plan ahead as soon as possible.

  5. GradImages is the official photographer for RISD Commencement. To find your graduate’s photos after the ceremony, visit their website to view and purchase prints and other custom photo projects, including plaques, specialty gifts and more.

    If you have any questions about ordering photos, please email the GradImages customer service department or call them at +1 800 261-2576.

For students

Commencement is a celebration of YOU and all you have achieved here at RISD. We know there is a lot for you to do heading into Commencement, so please bookmark this page and check back here for information on dates, deadlines and important links that you will need to know as we get closer to June.

  1. Pickup location
    RISD Careers office
    20 Washington Place

    Pickup dates and times
    Wednesday, May 25–Thursday, May 26: 9 am–4 pm
    Friday, May 27: 9 am–noon
    Tuesday, May 31–Friday, June 3: 9 am–noon
     

    Commencement seating is open and available on a first-come, first-served basis. You or your guests can contact us at commencement@risd.edu to inquire about accessibility concerns for your group. Each guest must have a ticket to get into the ceremony hall, so tickets must be picked up ahead of time. Pickup information will be provided here closer to Commencement.

  2. Caps and gowns will be available for pickup at risd:store beginning Wednesday, May 25. Pickup dates and times are as follows:

    Wednesday, May 25–Friday, May 27: 8:30 am–4 pm
    Friday, May 28–Saturday, May 29: 10 am–4 pm
    Tuesday, May 31–Thursday, June 2: 10 am–4 pm
    Friday, June 3: 9 am–1 pm

    Note that grad students must pick up their cap and gown no later than Friday, June 3 at 10 am.

    If you have questions about your cap and gown, email risdstore@risd.edu.

     

  3. Rehearsal for this year’s Commencement ceremony will take place virtually on Thursday, June 2 at 1 pm.

    All graduating students who want to participate in the ceremony should attend the webinar. It will include important information about student lineup and what to expect on Commencement day.

    For those who cannot make it, we will share out a recording of the rehearsal webinar.

    virtual rehearsal registration

  4. Housing 

    If you live on campus, your housing will automatically be extended through Commencement week. All graduating students must move out by noon (12 pm et) on Sunday, June 5.

    If you live off campus and your lease ends on June 1, you can sign up to stay in the first-year quad through Commencement. Housing will be available from May 31–June 5 and must be reserved by Wednesday, May 1.

    For more information and to sign up, please log in to the RISD housing portal and navigate to “Off-Campus Applications” to find the Commencement Housing 2022 form.

    Questions about housing? Contact Residence Life at housing@risd.edu.

    Meal plans

    Residential meal allotments for graduating students who live on campus will continue through June 5.

    Graduating students on the commuter meal plan will have it extended through June 5.

    Please check myRISD for available dining options.

    Mail forwarding

    Graduating students should make arrangements to have mail forwarded to their new address. To do so, please complete the mail forwarding request form.

  5. Each year graduating seniors create an original design for the RISD Yearbook. Ordering information will be sent to students in April.

    Please email csi@risd.edu with any questions.

  6. CommenceFEST is a series of social events that bring graduating students together to celebrate one another and the collective success of the Class of 2022. These events also let graduates explore resources available to them as new alumni.

    This year’s CommenceFEST runs May 31–June 2.

  7. All Brown|RISD Dual Degree (BRDD) graduates complete a capstone that draws upon their experience at both RISD and Brown during their final year in the program. Students reflect and expand on their work and deliver capstone presentations to demonstrate how pursuing a dual degree has advanced their work and learning. 

    Presentations will be held from noon–5 pm on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 and Wednesday, June 1, 2022 in the Martinos Auditorium of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, located on the Brown University campus at 154 Angell Street. All presentations are free and open to families, the Brown and RISD communities and the general public.

    The two days of presentations will be followed by a recognition dinner for graduating students and their guests at the Brown Faculty Club on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Graduating BRDD students are asked to RSVP through an email that will be sent to both their Brown and RISD email addresses. Students can reserve up to three (3) tickets for family and guests to attend.

Venue information and accessibility

Dunkin Donuts Center
1 LaSalle Square
Providence, RI 02903

The Dunkin Donuts Center is an accessible building. 

We ask that graduating students let us know about any special seating needs for their families when reserving Commencement tickets. You may email us at commencement@risd.edu or call 401 454-6379. Please contact us well in advance for information on entry and seating arrangements.

An ASL translator will be on stage during the Graduate Hooding Ceremony as well as at Commencement. The commencement program will include translations of the program and welcome in more than 20 languages.

COVID-19 policies

To reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19, RISD has established protocols for all in-person events—both indoors and outdoors. The guidelines help us to continue protecting our community while also letting us resume in-person activities. We will adapt the guidance as needed based on public health conditions.

Please review campus protocols and plan accordingly prior to attending Commencement.

RISD Reunion Weekend

This year RISD Reunions are coming back to campus as part of Commencement and Reunion Weekend. We are planning an activity-filled, family-friendly weekend to celebrate our alumni from class years ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 and our newest members, the Class of 2022.

Commencement and Reunion Weekend offers the Class of 2022 a great way to make connections with the RISD alumni community. We’ve planned wonderful opportunities to bring everyone together to celebrate all your achievements and milestones, including the All-Campus Dance and Lantern Lighting, the Alumni Commencement Processional and several alumni group receptions.

register for events

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Public events (no registration required)

RISD Craft

Saturday, June 4
10 am–4 pm

Come to Benefit Street on Commencement Day for the return of RISD’s juried sale of art and design works by more than 100 students and alumni.

WaterFire

Saturday, June 4
8:30–10:30 pm

Join us on the riverwalk for a special Commencement and Reunion Weekend version of the signature Downtown Providence event.

Class of 2020

After two years of disruption and delay, we are delighted to invite the Class of 2020 back to campus for your long-awaited Commencement ceremony and a special two-year class reunion June 2-5, 2022.

Joined by the graduating Class of 2022, your Commencement ceremony is currently planned as an in-person celebration in accordance with RISD’s COVID-19 protocol. You and your classmates are invited to walk in the processional and cross the stage. Attendees will receive regalia, a commemorative Class of 2020 stole and Commencement photography from GradImages at no charge. You will also receive up to six tickets for your guests and family.

The ceremony will be held Saturday, June 4, at Dunkin’ Donuts Center, immediately followed by a celebratory reception with music and food in Market Square.

Please bookmark this page and check back for dates, registration info, deadlines and important links as we get closer to June. To participate, all Class of 2020 alumni planning to attend must register.

Register today

  1. Deadline for ordering tickets: April 29, 2022

    The Class of 2020 can order tickets online beginning February 22. Returning 2020 graduates are allowed up to six (6) free tickets for their guests. Commencement tickets must be ordered by April 29, 2022. You will receive an email in early May with information on picking up your tickets.

    Please note that only requests made by graduating students will be processed. Please order only the number of tickets you know that you will need, so that we can accommodate larger requests.

    Seating is open and available on a first-come, first-served basis. You or your guests can contact us at commencement@risd.edu to inquire about accessibility concerns for your group. Each guest must have a ticket to get into the ceremony hall, so tickets must be picked up ahead of time. Pickup information will be provided here closer to Commencement.

    Order tickets

  2. Deadline for ordering cap and gown: April 15, 2022

    Class of 2020 alumni who are participating in commencement can order caps and gowns online from Oak Hall. The deadline for ordering your cap and gown is April 15, 2022.

    As part of your regalia you will receive a 2020 stole, free of charge, as part of your cap and gown selection.

    Be creative! You’re encouraged to embellish your Commencement regalia with bold, creative decorations of your very own.

    Caps and gowns will be available for pickup at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center when you arrive for line up. More details will follow as we approach the event.

    If you have questions about your cap and gown, email commencement@risd.edu.

    Order your cap and gown

Speakers and honorees

Cheryl D. Miller | honorary degree & Commencement speaker

Graphic designer, educator and author Cheryl D. Miller aims to end the marginalization of BIPOC designers through her civil rights activism, industry exposé trade writing, rigorous research and archival vision. A nationally recognized advocate for equity and inclusion in graphic design and founder of the NYC social impact design firm Cheryl D. Miller Design, Inc., she currently serves as distinguished senior lecturer in design at the University of Texas–Austin (where she was the 2021 E.W. Doty fellow) and adjunct professor at Howard University.

In 2021 Miller was an AIGA Medalist “Expanding Access,” a Cooper Hewitt “Design Visionary” awardee and an Honorary IBM Design Scholar. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Vermont College of Fine Arts and the President’s Global Advisory Board of Maryland Institute College of Art.

Miller earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Maryland Institute College of Art, an MS in Communications Design from Pratt Institute, an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary and an honorary degree in Humane Letters from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her essays appear in PRINT and Communication Arts, and her D&I-related professional research is archived in the Cheryl D. Miller Collection at Stanford University.

Nick Cave | honorary degree

Artist/educator Nick Cave works in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. His much-lauded Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, were created in response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991 and serve as a visual embodiment of both brutality and empowerment.

Throughout his practice, Cave has created spaces of memorial by combining found historical objects with contemporary dialogues on gun violence, death and catastrophic loss. His work reminds us that while there may be despair, there remains space for hope and renewal. From dismembered body parts stem delicate metal flowers, affirming the potential for new growth.

Cave encourages a profound and compassionate analysis of violence and its effects as the path towards an ultimate metamorphosis. His works ask how we may reposition ourselves to recognize societal issues such as global warming, racism and gun violence, come together on a global scale, instigate change and—ultimately—heal.

Shahzia Sikander | graduate hooding speaker

Pioneering Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander MFA 95 PT/PR is widely celebrated for expanding and subverting pre-modern and classical Central and South-Asian miniature painting traditions and launching the form known today as neo-miniature. By bringing the non-western art-historical visual vernacular into dialogue with contemporary international art practices, her multivalent work examines colonial archives to readdress orientalist narratives in western art history.

Interrogating ideas of language, trade, empire and migration through imperial and feminist perspectives, Sikander’s paintings, video animations, mosaics and sculpture explore gender roles and sexuality, cultural identity, racial narratives and colonial and postcolonial histories. Her innovative work led to US survey exhibitions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and, most recently, the RISD Museum. She has also presented her work in solo exhibitions around the world, including MAXXI Museo Rome, the Asia Society Hong Kong, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Sikander’s work can be found in the permanent collections of many prestigious institutions, and she has won numerous awards, grants and fellowships, including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts. She is a member of RISD’s Board of Trustees and lives and works in New York City.

Brian Selznick | Class of 2020 speaker

Brian Selznick 88 IL is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a Caldecott medal winner and the basis for Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning film Hugo. His other books include Wonderstruck, for which he wrote the screenplay for director Todd Haynes’ film adaptation, The Marvels, Kaleidoscope and Live Oak, With Moss—his first for an adult audience based on 12 poems by Walt Whitman.

Selznick has collaborated on several other books, including The Doll People Trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, the Caldecott Honor book The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, and Baby Monkey, Private Eye, a beginning reader he created with his husband David Serlin.

In addition to his books, Selznick has also worked professionally as a puppeteer and written for the stage, including an updated version of The Nutcracker performed at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon. Together they are currently collaborating with Ryan Scott Oliver on a musical adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Academic receptions

These celebratory gatherings and awards presentations bring together the graduating students, family members and friends of RISD’s academic divisions, departments and other programs. Check this space regularly for more listings and/or event details.

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Contact us

Have questions about Commencement and Reunion Weekend 2022?

Please email us at commencement@risd.edu or call +1 401 454-6379.