Colin Rumbel ’17

Communication studies and public relations major Colin Rumbel, student commencement speaker for URI’s Class of 2017, hopes to leave every graduating senior feeling the sense of community that he has felt at URI.

“My goal with this speech is to relate in some way to every student who is graduating—at least for one split second,” said Rumbel, who will deliver his speech at commencement exercises on Sunday, May 21. “It is also to remind my peers that although we may be on different paths, together we can be a great force to make a beautiful change in the world.”

Rumbel’s speech will celebrate lessons learned, bonds made, and even some funny moments he has experienced in his time at URI. An orientation leader for New Student Programs, Rumbel said URI was the only place he could see himself when he first stepped on campus for his tour in 2013.

“Now during my orientation sessions, I always look at the faces of students who seem awestruck. That is just how I felt on my first tour here, when I was looking for a college I could call home. That shows how special this place is and how true my first impression was,” Rumbel said.

After commencement, Rumbel looks to start his career in communications and public relations. Last year an internship at Citizens Bank cinched his communications career path. “I worked on various projects and gained many skills that I wouldn’t have been able to develop unless I took the chance and stepped outside of the classroom,” he said.

During his time at URI, Rumbel was a role model and peer leader to many fellow students, especially those enrolled in the leadership studies program. He has also worked in Commuter Affairs, was very active in his fraternity, and participated in various community service and philanthropic projects.

He has won several academic awards including the Public Relations Excellence Award for Leadership; Public Relations Excellence Award as Outstanding Mentor; the A. Robert Rainville Leadership Award-Student Organization of Leadership Consultants; a First-Year Leadership Excellence Award; and the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s Most Successful Big & Little Award.