Commencement 2018

Commencement 2018

May 3, 2018

Congratulations Ringling College Seniors, families, and friends of The Class of 2018! 

Commencement is a recognition and celebration of academic achievement and the lasting contributions that students have made to Ringling College of Art and Design. The faculty, staff, and graduating class of Ringling College of Art and Design announce Commencement exercises on
Thursday, May 3, 2018  at 3:30pm (Seniors please arrive at 2:30pm!) at  the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, Florida.

Families of graduates will be sent a letter from Dr. Tammy Walsh VP Dean of Students in January, 2018. Further details will be posted to our website as they become available.  Seniors will also receive information via their campus mailbox and email. 



Diplomas: Graduates of Ringling College of Art and Design will receive their Official Undergraduate Diploma in the mail after the ceremony. To ensure information pertaining to your diploma is correct, complete the Diploma Application online by December 2017.

Ceremony Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ceremony Time: 3:30pm *Graduates arrival time 2:30pm

Ceremony Location: 
Bradenton Area Convention Center 
1 Haben Boulevard  
Palmetto, FL 34221
(941) 722-3244

Ceremony Tickets & Seating:
Tickets are required for guests of Graduates. Each Senior will receive an allotted number of tickets based on the graduating class size. The Center Hall will be set up with a video feed during the ceremony. We recommend that large groups of guests wishing to sit together arrive early because the Bradenton Area Convention Center will not permit the saving of seats. Announcements/Tickets will be available in the Office of Student Life after Spring Break. Check your Ringling College email for the announcement.

Special Needs:
Seating for Special Needs is limited. Please email  for any special needs accommodations. 

Live Stream of Commencement Ceremony:
Students, parents/guardians, faculty, and staff may view the Commencement

Ceremony live by following the links below: *Links will become active the day of Commencement*

  • Parents/Guardians click here. (Link available closer to Commencement)
  • Students, faculty, staff click here. (Link available closer to Commencement)

*Recorded DVD copies of the ceremony are unavailable at this time due to contractual reasons.

Graduate Arrival Time & Location:
Graduates plan arrival at the graduate check-in area by (TIME TBA) within the Bradenton Area Convention Center's "Longboat Key" Room.

Parking at the Bradenton Area Convention Center is free. Please, be mindful of time and traffic.

Dress Attire: 
Business-Business Casual. Florida temperatures rise to the 9o’s in May, but the Bradenton Area Convention Center is cool and air-conditioned.

Professional photographers GradImages will be capturing the Commencement Ceremony and taking photos of each graduate. Electronic video devices/video recorders are also welcomed and encouraged to be brought at the ceremony of your own discretion.

Ceremony Programs:
Specially designed by an appointed Ringling College Design Center graduating candidate - programs are available to graduates and guests and will be handed out by Student Life ushers the day of the ceremony.

Graduates of Ringling College of Art and Design will receive their Official Undergraduate Diploma in the mail after the ceremony. To ensure information pertaining to your diploma is correct, complete the Diploma Application at the Office of Advising Records, and Registration or online by November 2017.

Hotel Accommodations: 
For information pertaining to area hotels. Visit the Ringling College website’s hotel page, click here

Commencement Speaker:
Stay tuned to the Ringling College website and emails for more details.



Graduation rehearsal for students will be held Tuesday, May 1 at 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Diane Roskamp Exhibition Hall. Pizza lunch included. 
*Please note this is NOT a dress rehearsal. 


Caps, Gowns, & Tassels

March 12, 2018 - Deadline to order Cap, Gown, and Tassel. Please visit the Campus Bookstore or email with your name, height, and weight.  There is no fee for the Cap, Gown, and Tassel when you order through the Ringling College Bookstore! 

Options for buying individual personalized class rings can be found on the Jostens website:

International Student Sashes: Please connect with Amy Pettengil, Director of Student International Affairs, for your order: 


Tickets & Announcements

Each graduate will receive 12 announcements and 8 tickets to use at their own discretion. 

Tickets are distributed evenly per Graduating Senior based on the graduating class size. Seating at the Bradenton Area Convention Center is first come/first serve. 

There will also be an online video feed available for viewing the day of Commencement. Website links will be available on the College website the day of Commencement.


Hotel Accommodations

Visit the Hotel section of the Ringling College Website, click here.


Graduation Photos

GradImages is offering students a $5.00 discount on any photo order over $25.00 when they register their email address prior to graduation. 


Special Events

Senior Thesis Exhibitions:

Details for 2018 are now pending. Please visit the following site:


President's Reception:

Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry R. Thompson will host a reception for graduating seniors and their families on Wednesday evening, May 2, 2018 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Ulla Searing Student Center on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus. Special musical guests, Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones! Dress attire is Florida casual!



A Baccalaureate service will be held on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, preceding the President's Reception at 3:30 p.m. in the Academic Center Auditorium. Join our Campus Minister, Rev. Melanie Kim, and special musical guests Ring Sarasota!


Social Media

Livestream: The Commencement Ceremony will be streaming LIVE. Be sure to check back on Ringling College's main page: on Thursday, May 3rd 3:30pm to see the celebration LIVE!

Social wall: Also, we have incorporated an social media wall to digitally connect seniors, families, and friends before and after the ceremony. When Graduates, Friends, and Families use their Instagram or Twitter accounts and the Official Ringling College Commencement Hashtag #RinglingGrads, their posts (pending approval) will be projected on screens throughout the commencement event location. Be sure to use the official Ringling College Commencement hashtag for 2018, #RinglingGrads, to send well wishes, photos, and congrats to graduates.


Contact Us

Please feel free to contact the Office of Student Life at 941.359.7509 or email  if you have any specific questions regarding Commencement.  

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