News and Events

The Best Commencement is Still to Come

The Best Commencement is Still to Come

Share your photos and tweets or watch the webcast online.

Share your photos and tweets or watch the webcast online

This Saturday, June 4, RISD will celebrate the culmination of intense years of creative exploration as 661 students collect their diplomas atCommencement 2011. The early afternoon ceremony will be preceded by a separate hooding ceremony for graduate students. Both ticketed events take place at the Rhode Island Convention Center, adjacent to RISD’sGraduate Thesis Exhibition, which is open to the public (from noon to 5 pm) through June 4.

Though Commencement is a ceremony bound by tradition, at RISD the celebration is effervescent and distinctly unique, with graduates painting, shredding, embellishing and creatively transforming their caps and gowns or foregoing them in favor of costumes, native dress or ultra casual attire. It’s all part of the RISD culture of creative expression and playful exuberance.

Visionary interaction designer Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in Manhattan, will accept an honorary degree and deliver the keynote address. In addition, RISD will also confer honorary degrees on philosopher, writer and aesthetics scholarArnold Berleant and public, performance and installation artistMierle Ukeles.

Alumna Katie Salen MFA 92 GD will also be recognized with the Alumni Association’s 2011 Art and Education Award for excellence and innovation in education. She is being honored for founding Quest2Learn, a New York City public school that uses gaming to get children excited about learning, ready to take risks and eager to solve problems.

Student speakers Jason Huff MFA 11 DM, Phoebe Stubbs MFA 11 GL and Affandi Setiawan 11 PH will deliver remarks to the 179 master’s degree recipients and 482 undergraduates earning bachelor’s degrees in architecture, design, the fine arts and art education. Also notable this year is theArtrepreneur Kit being given to each graduating student. For the second year in a row, RISD is arming each graduating artist and designer with a practical parting gift to help them market their work online and explore entrepreneurial possibilities.

Immediately following the ceremony, graduates, their families and guests will gather for a festive reception to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and toast their success.


Share your photos of Commencement with the wider RISD community. Submissions will appear on the RISD Flickr page


Tag your Tweets with #risdgrad11 and follow the festivities on Twitter.

more info:

For more information about the day’s events, visit the RISD Commencement website.