Information for Graduates

Ticketing and Guest Stadium Entry
In order to safely accommodate families and guests attendance, Commencement ceremonies will be held, rain or shine at Rice Stadium this year. Graduates will be permitted to bring four (4) guests. Seating will be spaced out in these groups of four (4).

An email with instructions for claiming guest tickets has been sent to each graduating student.Graduates who did not receive this email should check their junk folder or any alternative email addresses that may be on record with the registrar. For additional assistance, please contact commencement@rice.edu. Make sure to complete the ticket claiming process by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 13 to ensure you have assistance available to you, if needed. It will be up to the graduate to forward those tickets to their family and/or guests. Guests will need to present their ticket (either printed or via a mobile device) for entry into the stadium. All guests must have their own ticket, with the exception of those 2 years of age and under.

Stadium maps are available at the links below. We ask that graduates have their families look at the maps ahead of time to identify which gate they enter and where they would want to sit. Guests will want to sit on the same side their graduate will be sitting on the field.

Undergraduate ceremonies stadium map: https://rice.box.com/s/kdxmekzu1x17k989uyaxcj1abj5owl5k
Advanced and Doctoral Degrees ceremony stadium map: https://rice.box.com/s/yd3764rk5ahiuexwjre27rj3ca1jk2j9

Undergraduate Sallyport Walk-Thrus
Since ceremonies will be held at Rice Stadium, times have been set-up for graduates to process through the Sallyport together. The schedule for the Sallyport walk through events is noted below, for both Class of 2021 and 2020 graduates.

Schedule for Class of 2021 (Friday, May 14), by Residential College
Baker: 9:00am
Will Rice: 9:15am
Hanszen: 9:30am
Wiess: 9:45am
Jones: 10:00am
Brown: 10:15am
Lovett: 10:30am
Sid Rich: 10:45am
Martel: 11:00am
McMurtry: 11:15am
Duncan: 11:30am

After gathering together in their respective colleges, each college will process toward the academic quadrangle. Each college should gather in the center of the academic quadrangle five minutes prior to their scheduled walk-through time.

Schedule for Class of 2020 (Saturday, May 15), by Residential College
Baker: 1:30pm
Will Rice: 1:45pm
Hanszen: 2:00pm
Wiess: 2:15pm
Jones: 2:30pm
Brown: 2:45pm
Lovett: 3:00pm
Sid Rich: 3:15pm
Martel: 3:30pm
McMurtry: 3:45pm
Duncan: 4:00pm

Returning students should gather in the central academic quad 15 minutes prior to the scheduled walk through time for their college, near Fondren library.

International Students
If your parents will need documentation from Rice University to secure a visa to attend Commencement ceremonies, the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) will be able to assist you with an Invitation Letter of Support. A family member or friend often needs a letter from this office for the US Consulate or Embassy in order to apply for a visitor’s visa. Your request can be submitted via the Invitation Letter Request Form. Separate letters will be issued only if specifically mentioned on the request form. OISS can be reached by phone at 713-348-6095 or by email at oiss@rice.edu.

Guests planning to attend from other countries must follow the U.S. State Department’s requirements for testing and quarantine, which may vary by country. Click here for additional information.

Weather
Ceremonies will take place in the stadium, rain or shine. If rain is forecasted, umbrellas will be provided for all graduating students. To stay up to date with the latest information, please text 2021RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Academic Regalia
Academic regalia must be worn by all degree candidates choosing to participate in the Commencement weekend ceremonies. Regalia is available for purchase online until April 25. Regalia will be shipped directly to your provided address within 2-3 weeks of order date. In-store pick-up is NOT available this year and all regalia will be shipped to the address provided at the time of order. Additionally, the Campus Store will not have in-store stock of regalia for students, so be sure to order your regalia online ASAP.

A PDF guide to academic regalia is available here. For more information, visit buildagrad.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.

Please note that face masks are required on campus, both indoors and outdoors.

Graduation Announcements & Diploma Frames
Personalized graduation announcements to send to family and friends are also available for purchase through Balfour. Announcements can be ordered online at any time. Diploma frames are available at the Rice Campus Store and through their website at ShopRiceU.com. For more information visit ShopRiceU.com or call 713-348-2039.

Class Rings
Rice University official class rings are available for purchase through Balfour. Class rings can be ordered online at any time and will be shipped to students at the address provided at the time of order. For more information, visit balfour.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.

Photo and Video
You will have the opportunity to take pictures with friends and family at several graduation themed yard signs around campus. These will be available from Friday, May 14 – Monday, May 17 at the James Turrell Skyspace, Bull & Bear Statue at McNair Hall, Hindman Garden, and Sallyport of Lovett Hall.

While receiving their diplomas, all graduates will be professionally photographed from the platform by Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc. Information on availability of those images will be sent to each graduate’s email address provided with his or her permanent address on file. To insure that family members receive the notification, please select which ceremony applies to the graduate and enter your information.

Also, complimentary Cap & Gown Portrait Sessions will be available in the Rice Memorial Center (check schedule inside RMC for location) May 12th & 13th from 10AM until 3PM as well as on May 15th after the Advanced Degrees and Doctoral Ceremony concludes until 12:30PM. It will be first come, first served and there is NO OBLIGATION to purchase. If you have any questions, please contact them at grads@mnathanphoto.com or 281-549-2367.

Each ceremony will also be professionally video-recorded. These recordings will be available the week following Commencement on Rice’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/RiceUniversity.

Diplomas
The Office of the Registrar will place the diploma order on June 1, 2021. The processing and printing at the diploma company will take approximately four weeks. The diploma will list your name, degree, and any applicable university honors (Latin and/or Distinction in Research and Creative Work). Completed majors, minors, and certificates are not listed.

The name displayed on your diploma and the address to which it will be mailed can be viewed and edited by logging into ESTHER and navigating to: ESTHER > Student Services > Graduation > Verify Diploma Information > Diploma Name and Address.

Rice University diplomas are large in size and generally require framing by a professional framer. The dimensions are 17 inches wide by 23 inches tall. To purchase your official Rice University diploma frame, visit the Rice Campus Store or purchase online at ShopRiceU.com. For more information on diplomas, visit the Diplomas page maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

The Rice Portal
Through the Rice Portal, alumni can access a suite of online services that allows you to keep in touch with other Owls and engage with the university. You can sign up for your alumni email account, search for a classmate, register for an event, update your communication preferences, or share an update about your life or career — all through the Rice Portal.

To register for your personal account, visit alumni.rice.edu/connect and click on “New user registration.” Once you've signed up, don't forget to update your contact information so you don't miss out on the latest news and events taking place in your region.

Rice Email
Rice.edu email accounts for all degree recipients will be terminated within a few months after graduation. Graduating students are encouraged to stay connected with Rice and each other by taking one of the following steps

  1. Update your preferred contact information through the Rice Portal. To sign up for your personal Rice Portal account, visit alumni.rice.edu/connect and click on “New user registration.”
  2. Sign up for a new Google supported @alumni.rice.edu email account at the Rice Portal. Please note that your email account will take 1-3 business days to create.

Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at arahelp@rice.edu for more information about Rice alumni email services.

Association of Rice Alumni
Welcome to the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA)! The ARA was founded in 1919 to continue the relationship between the university and its alumni. 100 years later, the ARA has over 53,000 members worldwide. There are no membership dues to join the association; as a graduate of Rice, you are immediately part of this global community.

Wherever you are in the world, you can keep in touch with the university and your fellow Rice Owls! To view a calendar of all upcoming Rice alumni events, and to learn more about Rice alumni regional and affinity groups, visit alumni.rice.edu.

If you haven’t yet joined Sallyportal, Rice’s alumni-to-alumni professional development site, register for your account at sallyportal.org and begin making connections with fellow alumni in your field or who share your interests. Sign up today by using your LinkedIn account or your preferred email address.

Congratulations again, and welcome to the Association of Rice Alumni!

ESTHER
Accounts in the ESTHER system remain active indefinitely after Commencement. As a graduating student, you retain the ability to login and access your account any time at your convenience. You are encouraged to login to ESTHER to update your permanent address and contact information as necessary.