Weekend Overview

Graduates, alumni and families assemble on College Hill for an immersive and exhilarating experience packed with daylong events.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Graduate Student Council Champagne Toast

7 P.M. | Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), 20 Washington Place

The Graduate Student Council invites 2024 graduates and the greater Graduate School community to celebrate the graduates' accomplishments. Hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a selection of non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Guests are welcome to celebrate up until the onset of the Campus Dance.

Campus Dance

9 P.M. | College Green | Ticketed

One of Brown's best-loved Reunion and Commencement traditions, Campus Dance brings people to Brown to dance the night away under a sky lit with over 600 paper lanterns on College Green. The evening joins together graduating seniors and their families, alumni of all ages and Brown faculty and staff. Everyone enjoys meeting old classmates, seeing favorite professors and being with friends. All family members and guests are welcome to attend. Tickets are required for all attendees and will be available through the Campus Dance website when the online box office opens the week of April 22.

Saturday, May 25

Weekend Forums

Various Times and Locations

Led by faculty, alumni and distinguished guests, these academic and topical colloquia are an integral part of Commencement and Reunion Weekend. All family members and guests are welcome to attend and forums do not require a ticket. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


1 P.M. (Estimated) | First Baptist Church in America

Baccalaureate is a multifaith ceremony for undergraduates that incorporates the many spiritual and cultural traditions of the Brown community. The ceremony starts on College Green with a procession that leads graduates to the First Baptist Church in America. Due to limited seating capacity, only seniors are allowed into the church. All guests and family members are invited to watch the ceremony from Front Green, where the event is livestreamed. Graduates should wear regalia (gowns only).

Master's Ceremony

4 P.M. | College Green

Master's students have a short procession from behind Sayles Hall to College Green for the Master's Ceremony. Faculty should plan to arrive at 3 p.m. to seat themselves in the reserved faculty section on College Green near the front of the stage. The ceremony celebrates the academic achievements of master’s graduates and includes an invocation, student speaker, awards presentation, conferral of degrees and benediction. The Master’s Ceremony is available to view via livestream.

Doctoral Reception

1–3 P.M. | Simmons Quad

Doctoral graduates of the Class of 2024, and their guests, are invited to celebrate their accomplishments and enjoy some time together with fellow students, deans and staff from the Graduate School. Light snacks and drinks will be served, and graduates and guests may register to win prizes.

Sunday, May 26


9:45 A.M. | Faunce Arch

The Commencement Procession is a joyous celebration. Candidates for degrees march across College Green and through the Van Wickle Gates, which are opened only twice each year. Undergraduate alumni who have returned for Reunion march with their classes. Once the last person is through the Van Wickle Gates, the Procession inverts and undergraduates continue down College Street with each participant applauding the others; graduate and medical students also process to their respective ceremony locations, with participants and spectators applauding the graduates. Graduates should wear full regalia (cap and gown).

Parents, relatives and friends of seniors are strongly advised to find seats on College Green during the opening Procession, where they can view the livestream of the Procession. The Procession is made up of approximately 7,000 participants who line the route, making photography and lines of sight challenging for guests.

Warren Alpert Medical School Commencement Ceremony

10 A.M. (Estimated) | First Unitarian Church | Ticketed

The medical school adjourns to the First Unitarian Church on Benefit and Benevolent streets for their ceremony. Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Mukesh K. Jain, M.D., presides. The ceremony includes a faculty and class address and degree conferral.

Each graduate participating in the medical school ceremony receives four tickets, which are distributed on Saturday, May 25, during the mandatory rehearsal.

Doctoral Ceremony

10:30 A.M. (Estimated) | Pembroke Field

Doctoral students process to Pembroke Field for the Doctoral Ceremony. The Doctoral Ceremony celebrates the academic achievements of Ph.D. graduates and includes an invocation, student speaker, awards presentation, conferral of degrees and benediction. Both the Procession and Doctoral Ceremony are available to view via livestream.

Master’s Reception

11 A.M.–12:15 P.M. | Woods-Gerry House Terrace and Gardens, 62 Prospect St.

After processing down College Hill through the crowd of cheering alumni, master's graduates are invited to an informal reception, sponsored by the School of Professional Studies, on the grounds of Woods-Gerry House (RISD Admissions). Make your way to this gathering to connect with family members and enjoy a snack and some lemonade with your classmates before heading to the University Ceremony on College Green.

College Ceremony

12:15 P.M. (Estimated) | The First Baptist Church in America

The senior class assembles on the lawn of the First Baptist Church in America for the official conferral of undergraduate degrees at the College ceremony. After the ceremony ends, the seniors walk up the hill and take seats on College Green for the University Ceremony. Family and friends should remain on College Green during the College ceremony, where large screens offer a continuous view of the proceedings.

University Ceremony

1:15 P.M. (Estimated) | College Green

Undergraduate, graduate and medical students unite on College Green for this ceremony. President Christina H. Paxson presides, senior orations are delivered and honorary and symbolic degrees are awarded.

Departmental Ceremonies

2:30–4:45 P.M. (Estimated) | Various Locations

All degrees are symbolically conferred during the University Ceremony. Separate departmental ceremonies for each academic department follow the main ceremony and provide a more intimate atmosphere for families and graduates. Many departments also welcome graduate students. Some departmental ceremonies require tickets; students should check with their department.

View Departmental Ceremony Locations