Commencement 2020


Ringling College Seniors,

The semester, and your time with us here at Ringling College of Art and Design, is nearly at its close. Plans for our signature Spring events, including Best of Ringling and Senior Shows, are coming together. As we have promised, we will hold both events, though they will look different from what we would expect under normal circumstances.

We will celebrate the Best of Ringling online on Wednesday, May 6 at 5:00 PM sharp, when the event takes over Ringling's homepage. Join us at to find out who takes home the prizes in each category and join us afterward in the online galleries to see all of the incredible work that students submitted this year! Stay tuned for more information about sharing your reactions to the results with the Ringling College community.

This year's Senior Shows will be delivered using multiple online platforms to provide digital and virtual experiences of your works. We are developing a website to serve as the base for the Senior Thesis exhibitions. From this website, visitors will be able to access video content, live stream events, wall-based virtual exhibitions, and other exciting content for each major. Senior Shows will go live on Thursday, May 7, 2020, with times varying by department. We will share the full schedule and the URL of the Senior Shows website soon. We look forward to celebrating this exhibition, your energies, and your creativity TOGETHER!

Since my message to you of April 6, 2020 regarding Commencement, we have continued to consider how to celebrate the milestone achievement of your graduation from Ringling College of Art and Design. Although we are no longer able to deliver a full online Commencement ceremony as we had originally planned, we will be using the website to recognize your achievements. A special surprise will be available on our homepage at beginning on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 10:00 AM. You will also soon be receiving a shipment containing your cap and gown, if you ordered one; any honor cords you have earned; keepsake Commencement programs and announcements; and an alumni logo pin. Your diploma and diploma cover will follow separately, showing a conferral date of May 9, 2020.

We recognize that nothing can replace the experience of walking across the graduation stage and receiving your degree in front of your classmates and loved ones. We want you to have that experience, so we invite you to process with the Class of 2021 next May. If you are at all interested in participating in the 2021 Commencement exercises, please fill out this form to ensure you receive additional information about that opportunity early next spring. We would love to see you return to campus and have the kind of ceremony you deserve.

Thank you all again for your grace in embracing the changes that were forced upon us in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I remain incredibly proud of you and grateful that you have been a student here at Ringling College of Art and Design. I wish you all the best as you finish your final projects, theses, papers, and other requirements for your degrees.

Larry Thompson


Commencement 2020

Governor DeSantis's recent Stay-at-home order has changed what we thought we could do in terms of creating a meaningful celebration of the Commencement Ceremony for May 9. As such, we are continuing to review the best way to celebrate the achievements of our 2020 graduates and welcome them to the ranks of our alumni. Given this new development, we have made a decision to reverse the $500 graduation fee. Graduates will still receive a cap, gown, and tassel if they have placed an order for these items. The Commencement announcements, program, honor cords, diploma covers, and diplomas will be mailed separately to each graduate. We look forward to sharing more details about how we will honor you as soon as we are able. Please watch the FAQ page at for more information on the timing of the graduation fee reversal.

With hopes you are staying safe and well,

Larry Thompson

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