Information for Degree Candidates
Students are eligible to cross the stage only once, either in December or May. If you participated in the Monday, December 9, 2019 Convocation Ceremony, you are not eligible to participate in the Friday, May 15, 2020 Convocation Ceremonies. You are, however, welcome to join the Saturday morning Plenary Commencement Ceremony on May 16, 2020.
If your parents will need documentation from Rice University to secure a visa to attend Commencement ceremonies, please contact the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) to request 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. This request is only accepted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) accompanied by the Invitation Letter Request Form. Separate letters will be issued only if specifically mentioned on the request form. OISS is located in Lovett Hall and can be reached by phone at 713-348-6095 or by email at email@example.com.
Academic regalia must be worn by all degree candidates choosing to participate in the Commencement weekend ceremonies. Regalia is available for purchase online beginning February 3 until April 19. Representatives will also be available to assist with orders at the Grad Fair, held March 3-6, 2020 from 10AM to 3PM in the RMC Grand Hall Lobby. Students who order their regalia online by April 6th will save $5.00 on their regalia package. Payment will be made at time of pick up from the Rice Campus Store. Regalia pre-orders will begin arriving during the 2nd or 3rd week of April. You will receive an email from the Campus Store when your pre-order arrives. 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.
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, or in person at the Grad Fair, held March 3-6, 2020 from 10:00AM to 3:00PM in the RMC Grand Hall Lobby. 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.
Rice University official class rings are available for purchase through Balfour. Class rings can be ordered online at any time, or in person at the Grad Fair, held March 3-6, 2020 from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Campus Store. Rings ordered during the Grad Fair will be delivered to students by Alumni Affairs at the New Alumni Block Party. Please note that class rings ordered after March 6 are not guaranteed to arrive before the New Alumni Block Party. For more information, visit balfour.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.
Photo and Video
While receiving their diplomas, all graduates will be professionally photographed by Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc., who will be on the platform. 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 go online HERE to sign up for the Undergraduate Convocation. Click HERE for the Advanced Degree Convocation. Click HERE for the MBA Investiture. For the Doctoral Convocation (PhD Hooding), click HERE. You may also visit www.gradphotonetwork.com to view all the images from the ceremony on the Monday following the event. Complimentary cap and gown photo sessions will also be available in the Rice Memorial Center lobby May 13th & 14th from 10AM until 2PM, May 15th from 9AM until 1PM, and May 16th from immediately after the ceremony until 12:30PM. There is NO OBLIGATION to purchase anything. If you have any questions, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Family members and other guests will be allowed to spend a short time in special photo areas near the front, off to the side. Please do not block the view of other guests. Please observe the directions of the marshals and ushers.
The Office of the Registrar will place the diploma order on the Monday following Commencement (Monday, May 18, 2020). 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.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
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.”
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
No tickets will be issued for the Undergraduate Convocation and Plenary Commencement ceremonies in the Academic Quadrangle. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event of inclement weather, each degree candidate will have been issued two (2) tickets for the Undergraduate Convocation on Friday and two (2) tickets for the Plenary Commencement ceremony on Saturday for family members and/or guests to enter Tudor Fieldhouse. They will receive these tickets from their college coordinator (undergraduate students) or department coordinator (graduate students).
IF THE INCLEMENT WEATHER PLAN IS IN EFFECT:
The Marshals, University operators and Campus Police will know if the inclement weather plan is in effect by 5:30 p.m. on Friday for the Undergraduate Convocation and 6:30 a.m. the morning of Commencement.
All undergraduates should line up in Fox Gym, which can be accessed through the Youngkin Center entrance.
All other degree candidates should assemble in the north hall of Tudor Fieldhouse, which can be accessed through the main entrance.
If the inclement weather plan is in effect the entire Commencement ceremony, including conferral of degrees, will take place in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Each degree candidate should have been issued two (2) tickets for the Undergraduate Convocation and two (2) tickets for the Commencement ceremony for family members and guests. If you are an undergraduate, your college coordinator has your tickets and all other degree candidates tickets are with your department coordinator. If you did not receive your inclement weather tickets, please contact the appropriate person. We suggest parents and guests bring these tickets to the ceremony in the Academic Quadrangle in case a sudden change in weather forces the ceremony indoors at the last minute.
Seating for guests in Tudor Fieldhouse will be in the bleachers on the second floor. Please keep in mind that the steps are steep and that elderly or infirm persons will need assistance.
Overflow seating for guests that cannot be accommodated in Tudor Fieldhouse will be available at other locations on campus. You should have received a map showing these locations when you picked up your tickets.
Attention Degree Candidates: All graduates are expected to attend the appropriate Convocation ceremony as well as Plenary Commencement. Students who are unable to attend one or both events must notify the appropriate university representative below.
Undergraduate students must notify their college coordinator.
Graduate students must login to gradconvocation.rice.edu and update their attendance information.
Jones Graduate students not attending Commencement should email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise them that you will not be attending.