Bryant archway and nature.
With Bryant's grounds in full bloom, take your graduation photos with family and friends by the campus's striking flowers, plants, and trees.
Botanical beauty: 5 Commencement photo spots in bloom this Saturday
May 16, 2024, by Emma Bartlett
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From yellow marigolds and purple phlox decorating the flower bed outside the Commencement tent to ruby red azaleas and white dogwoods placed throughout campus, the university’s grounds are something akin to an artist’s palette. With family and friends gathering for graduation this Saturday, Bryant’s Garden Arborist Andrew Michael and University Photographer Pamela Murray provided tips on five photo spots that will be filled with striking flowers, plants, and trees.

Memorial grove.

Memorial Grove: Located between the Unistructure and the Elizabeth and Malcom Chace Wellness and Athletic Center, Memorial Grove is home to 10 eastern redbuds that fan out across the lawn. Take a seat on the stone wall to capture the vibrant pink blossoms in the background. If you are looking to add more color to your photo, be sure to include the dark green English ivy that’s winding its way up the stone wall.

Outside Academic Hall.

Presidents’ Walk: Strolling under a dome of green, the Presidents’ Walkway — located between Memorial Grove and Chace Athletic Center — is lined with towering red maples. After four years of trekking this path for classes, take a memorable pic here with Academic Hall peeking through the background.

Outside Interfaith Center.

Front of the Ronald K. and Kati C. Machtley Interfaith Center: The Japanese maple — known by its botanical name as Acer palmatum — can be found in a variety of locations across campus, including Bryant Pond and behind Douglas and Judith Krupp Library. If you’re looking to add a flare of red to your photos, check out the Japanese maple in front of the Machtley Interfaith Center. The site also features red azaleas with their fragrant, funnel-shaped flowers.

Back of Interfaith Center.

Back of Machtley Interfaith Center: Strike a pose just outside the Commencement tent by the dogwood tree resting at the corner of the Machtley Interfaith Center. Known for being a beautiful and versatile ornamental tree, this perennial makes for an eye-catching backdrop for photos with family and friends.

Bryant Pond.

Bryant Pond: An iconic campus location, Bryant Pond is the place for studying on warm days, chilling in the Adirondack chairs, and casting a line in hopes of catching a fish. Now, however, it’s an ideal location for graduation photos. There are several desirable areas to visit: start by the brick pathway outside the Machtley Interfaith Center and pose with the pond, Japanese maple, and weeping willows in the background; next, travel just over the bridge to the benches on the other side of the pond for photos next to azaleas, hydrangeas, and additional plant life; finish your route by the weeping willows where you can capture the water fountain and pond behind you.

Bonus location: Stroll over to the bridge and snap a few photos overlooking the water while standing beside the planters filled with mandevilla flowers and wave petunias. 

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