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University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island
Former names
Rhode Island College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts (1892–1909)
Rhode Island State College (1909–1951)
Motto Think Big. We Do.
Established May 19, 1892
Type Flagship
Land Grant
Sea Grant
Endowment US $129,805,415 million (2013)
President David M. Dooley, Ph.D.
Provost Donald H. DeHayes, Ph.D.
Administrative staff
675 full time
Students 16,795
Undergraduates 13,589
Postgraduates 2,900
Location Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.
Campus 1,250 acres (5.06 km2) Rural
Colors Keaney Blue, Dark Blue and White               
Athletics NCAA Division I
Atlantic 10 Conference
Colonial Athletic Association (football)
Sports 17 Varsity Teams
Nickname Template:If empty
Mascot Rhody the Ram

The University of Rhode Island (commonly referred to as URI) is the principal public research as well as the land grant and sea grant university for the state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in the village of Kingston in southern Rhode Island. Additionally, smaller campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich.

The university offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees in 79 undergraduate and 49 graduate areas of study through seven academic colleges. These colleges include Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Human Science and Services, Environment and Life Sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy. Another college, University College (UC) serves primarily as an advising college for all incoming undergraduates and follows them through their enrollment at URI.

The University currently enrolls about 13,589 undergraduate and 2,900 graduate students. US News and World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it 152nd overall.[1]


Quadrangle on an early September evening at University of Rhode Island.

The University was first chartered as the state's agricultural school and agricultural experiment station in 1888. The site of the school was originally the Oliver Watson Farm, whose original farmhouse is now a small museum. In 1892, the school became known as the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The first class had only seventeen students, each completing their course of study in two years. In 1909, the school's name was again changed to Rhode Island State College as the school's programs were expanded beyond its original agricultural education mandate. In 1951 the school was given its current title through an act of the General Assembly following the addition of the College of Arts and Sciences and the offering of doctoral degrees. The Board of Governors for Higher Education, appointed by the governor, became the governing body of the University in 1981 during the presidency of Frank Newman (1974-1983). The Board of Governors was replaced by the Rhode Island Board of Education in 2013.[2] The current president is David M. Dooley.[3]

A list of Presidents of the University of Rhode Island:

  • John Hosea Washburn (1892-1902)
  • Kenyon L. Butterfield (1903-1906)
  • Howard Edwards (1906-1930)
  • Raymond G. Bressler (1931-1940)
  • Carl R. Woodward (1941-1958)
  • Francis H. Horn (1958-1967)
  • Werner A. Baum (1968-1973)
  • Frank Newman (1974-1983)
  • Edward D. "Ted" Eddy (1983-1991)
  • Robert L. Carothers (1991-2009)
  • David M. Dooley (2009–present)


Located in a traditional New England college town, URI offers students a land, sea and urban experience. Students can choose from about 80 majors within seven different colleges. Among the most popular majors at URI are Nursing, Communication Studies, Psychology, Kinesiology and Human Development & Family Studies. URI is well known for its nursing and engineering programs, the latter of which includes the internationally recognized International Engineering Program,[4] and a robotic competition delegation that has continuous placed within the top 5 competing schools.[5] The University also boasts nationally ranked programs in Pharmacy, Landscape Architecture,[6] and Oceanography.

The University of Rhode Island Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics has been ranked the fourth most productive research department in the country in the field of agricultural economics by the 2005 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. Only Colorado State University, Iowa State University and the University of California at Berkeley ranked ahead of URI. Of the top 10 universities in the field, URI’s program has the fewest faculty members with 10.The URI program was the first in the nation to offer a graduate degree in natural resource economics (in 1969), and the department publishes an internationally recognized research journal, Marine Resource Economics. Agricultural and natural resource economists study the interactions between economic and natural systems, with the goal of developing a sustainable and efficient economy. Faculty in the URI department focus on issues related to the spectrum of natural resource and environmental management, with particular strengths in fisheries and aquaculture, the marine environment, coastal watersheds and terrestrial ecosystems, ecosystem valuation and international trade.[7]

US News and World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it 147th overall.[8] The average incoming freshman for the fall of 2014 had a GPA of 3.43 and an SAT score of 1667 or an ACT score of 25.[9] The acceptance rate for 2013 was 75.8%.


File:Meade Field Panorama.JPG
University of Rhode Island Rams Football at Meade Field
Main article: Rhode Island Rams

The University of Rhode Island Department of Athletics and Recreation fields teams that compete in 17 intercollegiate sports. The University is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. Athletic facilities include the Ryan Center, Keaney Gymnasium, Meade Stadium, Mackal Field House, Tootell Aquatic Center, Bradford R. Boss Arena, URI Soccer Complex, Bill Beck Field, and URI Softball Complex. The Director of Athletics is Thorr Bjorn, who previously worked at the University of Massachusetts.

Student organizations

There are over one hundred officially recognized student organizations at the University of Rhode Island. Most student organizations are funded by the URI Student Senate, which is in turn funded by fees levied on all students. Prominent organizations include:

  • URI Student Senate — the undergraduate student government.
  • URI Student Alumni Association (SAA) -- Organization that promotes school spirit and bringing students of the past, present, and future together. They plan campus-wide events including Homecoming, Rhody Rally, Oozeball, among other things.
  • Student Entertainment Committee (SEC) — organizes large concerts and other campus-wide entertainment, including comedians, guest speakers, and special activities.
  • WRIU — radio station
  • The Good 5 Cent Cigar — campus newspaper
  • Renaissance Yearbook — campus yearbook
  • URI Students for Social Change
  • Local branches of national organizations such as: Hillel, Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, NAACP, PRSSA, College Democrats and College Republicans.
  • Fashion Merchandising Society (FMS) – Organization dedicated to providing all members (not just members of the Textiles department) with connections to the Fashion industry as well as topical information.
  • Public Relations Society (PRS)- Organization that hosts its own events and helps other on-campus organizations with advertising, marketing and good public relations.
  • Student Action for Sustainability (SAS) – Organization behind the "green" movement on campus, Earth Day celebrations, campus clean-ups, and upcoming Campus Sustainability Day in the fall.
  • Student Alliance for the Welfare of Africa (SAWA)- Organization behind educating students on issues concerning Africa and its inhabitants. One of the goals is to help abolish common stereotypes of African culture.
  • URI Dance Company - An organization that offers students the opportunity to experience the art of dance.
  • The Mob - An organization that encourages student involvement at University Athletics events.
  • The 411 on the 401 - A student produced television show that deals with student organization and events, pop culture, University news, local music and bands, and student life in general.
  • The URI Ram Marching Band - Organization consisting of both music and non-music major performers. Participates at all home URI Football games and participates in Rhody Rally. Includes the URI Drumline and URI Color Guard.

21st Century

The University has chartered a path for enrollment growth and capital improvement that has endured since the early 2000s. In 2014, URI enrolled its largest freshman class of all time and total enrollment neared 17,000. Capital improvement projects have also transformed the campus and complemented academic offerings in science and engineering related programs. New facilities include a Center for Biology and Life Sciences, a College of Pharmacy building, a Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, and in 2019, a brand new College of Engineering building.

Likewise, residential and student service facilities have been newly constructed to enable enrollment growth. These new facilities include new dormitories, the showpiece of which is Hillside Hall, a freshman dorm building finished in 2012, a new wellness center, two new dining facilities, and, currently in planning, a brand new student union. The new facilities have been celebrated for the use of sustainable design and have mostly received top LEED certifications.

Greek life

The University of Rhode Island also has an award-winning Greek System. The community was recognized by the Northeast Greek Leadership Association in February 2008 for excellence in Academic Achievement, Council Management, Membership Recruitment, Multicultural Initiatives, Public Relations, Risk Management and Panhellenic Continuous Open Bidding.[10]

The Greek Community consists of 16 fraternities and 10 sororities.

Fraternities: Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Phi, Delta Chi, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Pi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Theta Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Beta Tau.

Sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Zeta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Delta, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, Phi Sigma Sigma and Chi Omega.

Multicultural Greek Council Organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Alpha Phi Alpha, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Kappa Alpha Psi, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Delta Sigma Theta and Omega Psi Phi.

Professional Fraternities and Sororities: Kappa Psi, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha, Theta Tau, and Alpha Chi Sigma.

The Greek Community is governed by the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council. Both organizations, along with Greek Life administration are housed on campus in the Christopher House.

Notable alumni



Rams Basketball at Ryan Center

Arts, broadcast and entertainment


Science and Academia



See also

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  1. ^ "Final Enrollment Reports". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (11 March 2013). "New RI Board of Ed meets for first time". Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "University of Rhode Island history and timeline". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  4. ^ King Head, Sarah (12 February 2012). "Engineers with a foreign language build global bridges". University World News. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "URI team wins international robotic boat contest - Providence Business News". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  6. ^ "News - University of Rhode Island". 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  7. ^ "URI Natural Resources" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ "University of Rhode Island | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  9. ^ Redlich, Jhodi. "URI’s Facts about Fall 2013". URI Press Release. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Northeast Greek Leadership Association". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  11. ^ "Rhode Island : Tom Garrick Resigns as Women's Basketball Head Coach". 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  12. ^ Douglas, Craig (28 February 2011). "Ocean State Job Lot head Marc Perlman says increasing red tape, government regulations make it hard to do business". The Republican. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Bradford R. Boss ('55). "Bradford R. Boss ('55) - Rhode Island". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "Whitehouse's 'secret weapon'? His wife, Sandra. by Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ "Guide to the The General Elliott Thorpe Collection 1928-1999". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 

External links

Coordinates: 41°28′51″N 71°31′33″W / 41.48071°N 71.52580°W / 41.48071; -71.52580{{#coordinates:41.48071|N|71.52580|W|source:placeopedia|||| |primary |name= }}