Convocation ceremonies are public celebrations of individual student achievement. Each ceremony is different in form and structure, but all involve recognition of individual students. At Undergraduate Convocation, for example, each student will cross the stage, receive a diploma tube, and be congratulated. Doctoral Convocation features the individual hooding of graduates by their chosen faculty advisor. Rice University offers four separate convocation ceremonies, which are detailed on the Schedule of Ceremonies page. Each graduate is expected to attend their assigned convocation on Friday in addition to the university-wide Plenary Commencement ceremony Saturday morning.
The Plenary Commencement ceremony is the culmination of the graduation process; a university-wide assembly that brings together graduates from all schools and all degree programs. The President of Rice University confers degrees upon graduating students en masse in a formal statement to the assembly; students are not recognized individually at this ceremony. The guest Commencement Speaker as well as representatives of the university will address the graduates and their families.