Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I cordially invite you to participate in Commencement 2020 on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9, 2020. Commencement activities begin with the Academic Convocation on Friday at 10 a.m. in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. During the ceremony, the entire RIT community will come together to celebrate with our graduates and their families and mark the close of another academic year. This is a special time for our students and their families, and I hope you will be able to share it with them.   

RIT’s 2020 commencement speaker is Jody Olsen, Ph.D., MSW, the 20th director of the Peace Corps. Dr. Olsen began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Tunisia from 1966-1968. She has since served the agency in multiple leadership positions—as acting director in 2009; deputy director from 2002-2009; chief of staff from 1989-1992; regional director, North Africa, Near East, Asia, Pacific from 1981-1984; and country director in Togo from 1979-1981.

Prior to returning to the Peace Corps in 2018, Dr. Olsen served as visiting professor at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work and director of the university’s Center for Global Education Initiatives.

Dr. Olsen’s address will be just one highlight of the convocation ceremony. RIT’s 10th president, Dr. David C. Munson, Jr., will also speak to the Class of 2020 as will two student delegates. Finally, we will honor the students receiving their Ph.D.’s during the doctoral hooding ceremony. 

Faculty and staff are an important part of Academic Convocation. Full-time faculty are expected to attend convocation and the commencement ceremonies for their respective colleges. If you have a conflict, please notify your dean as soon as possible. Staff in regalia at convocation are also invited to participate in the procession. Line-up for the procession will be in the lower level of the Student Life Center at 9:15 a.m.

Following convocation, we will hold individual college commencement ceremonies and receptions Friday afternoon and Saturday. Look for details and instructions from your college commencement liaison. For the full schedule of ceremonies and receptions, click here.

Kerry Hughes is the contact person for Commencement 2020. If you have any questions, please contact her directly at  

I appreciate your support during commencement weekend; most importantly, our students and their guests appreciate your presence. Thank you for your participation. 


Ellen Granberg
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs