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Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University
Motto Magna Est Veritas
Motto in English
Truth is Mighty
Established 1956
Type Private university
Affiliation Non-sectarian
Endowment $62.7 million[1]
President Donald J. Farish
Academic staff
Students 4,425 undergraduate, 940 graduate

Bristol, Rhode Island, United States
41°38′58″N 71°15′38″W / 41.64944°N 71.26056°W / 41.64944; -71.26056Coordinates: 41°38′58″N 71°15′38″W / 41.64944°N 71.26056°W / 41.64944; -71.26056{{#coordinates:41|38|58|N|71|15|38|W|type:edu_region:US-RI |primary |name=

Campus Suburban, 140 waterfront acres
Colors Royal Blue, Gold, and White
Nickname Template:If empty

Roger Williams University, commonly abbreviated as RWU, is a private, coeducational American liberal arts university located on Script error: No such module "convert". in Bristol, Rhode Island, on Mt. Hope Bay. Founded in 1956, it was named for theologian and Rhode Island cofounder Roger Williams. The university has no religious affiliation.

History, academics, and campus life

The university’s operations date to 1919, when Northeastern University opened a branch campus in the YMCA building in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1940, the YMCA Board of Directors took over the school and the YMCA Institute granted its first associate’s degrees in 1948. In 1956, the Institute received a state charter to become a two-year, degree-granting institution under the name of Roger Williams Junior College. During the 1960s, Roger Williams College began granting bachelor’s degrees. Needing a larger campus, the college purchased Script error: No such module "convert". of waterfront land and moved its main campus to Bristol in 1969. (RWU continues to operate a branch campus in Providence.) In 1989 new president Dr. Natale A. Sicuro initiated the Roger Williams Plan for the 90s, and became concurrently the president of the newly established Roger Williams School of Law and, in 1992, led the name change of Roger Williams College to Roger Williams University. RWU celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006.[2]

The university enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and 850 graduate students in 42 liberal arts majors and five professional schools. It is one of the few colleges in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree directly in Marine Biology,[citation needed] has a well-regarded school of architecture,[citation needed] and has the only law school in Rhode Island. The University also offers a degree in Construction Management; nearly all students leaving the CM program have secured a job in their field before graduation. The university is also one of the few institutions offering online study in Digital Forensics and also has a program in Computer Networking and Security. Approximately 85% of students live on campus.

On Friday, July 2, 2010, Roy Nirschel resigned from his post as president of the university.[3] The university announced on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 that Donald J. Farish will become its tenth president.[4]

The university has a weekly campus newspaper, The Hawks' Herald,[5] which publishes approximately 20 issues per academic year, and an FM radio station, WQRI 88.3. The radio station plays everything from college alternative to hip hop. The college's 20 varsity athletic teams play at the Division III level as members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference.


Roger Williams University teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Hawks are a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Other sports include indoor track and sailing and there is an equestrian team.

Reputation and campus culture

The university established a program in civil discourse, including the journal Reason and Respect, which brought in speakers such as Salman Rushdie, David Gergen, First Minister and Nobel Prize–winner David Trimble, Khaled Hosseini, author of Kite Runner, Bob Geldof of Live Aid, and others to campus. The university has established campuses in London and Florence; collaborates with sister institutions in France, Brazil, Vietnam, and Hong Kong; features a broad portfolio of study-abroad opportunities encompassing over 30 countries; and is home to a Center for Macro Projects and Diplomacy, which brings together engineering, architecture, technology, economic development, and international relations for a common purpose. Furthermore, it was recently recognized as a non-governmental member of the United Nations.

Enrollment is currently at an all-time high.[citation needed] In addition, RWU was recently ranked for the first time as one of the top ten Comprehensive Colleges in the Northern U.S. by U.S. News & World Report.[6] It was ranked ninth in 2007, up one spot from the previous year.

In January 2009, a group of Communication majors worked to create a catalog of video vignettes on sustainability issues; a portion of that work appeared on the PBS special Planet Forward.[7] One of those students, Kyle Toomey, also appeared on the Planet Forward special, which aired on April 15, 2009.[7]

According to the university's newspaper The Hawk's Herald, in 2010 the university's debt decreased, "As of Aug. 31, RWU owed over $146 million in bonds outstanding. This figure reflects a slight decrease in university debt compared to the previous year's figure of over $150 million in bonds owed."[8]

Notable faculty members and alumni


External links