University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island Seal
Motto Think Big. We Do.
Established 1892
Type Public
Endowment $73 million USD[1]
President David M. Dooley
Academic staff 675
Students 19,095
Undergraduates 14,546
Postgraduates 4,549
Location Flagship Campus:
Commonwealth Campuses:
West Greenwich
Campus Rural
1,250 acres (5.06 km²)
Colors Keaney Blue, Dark Blue and White               
Nickname Rams
Mascot Rhody the Ram
Affiliations Atlantic 10 Conference, Global U8 (GU8), Colonial Athletic Association (football)

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is the principal public research university in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in Kingston. Additional campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich. URI currently enrolls 14,546 undergraduate and 4,549 graduate students. It is a land grant, sea grant, and urban grant institution. US News and World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it 160th overall.



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, the original farmhouse of which is still maintained as 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. The current president is David Dooley.[4]


Located in a traditional New England college town, URI offers students a land, sea and urban experience. Students can choose from over 80 majors within ten 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[citation needed] International Engineering Program. The University also boasts nationally ranked programs in Pharmacy, Landscape Architecture 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. [2]

US News and World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it 160th overall. The average incoming freshman for the fall of 2010 had a GPA of 3.34 and an SAT score of 1671.


URI Athletics Logo
URI Football Helmet

The University of Rhode Island Department of Athletics and Recreation fields teams that compete in 18 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.

Student organizations

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

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.
  • 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.

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.[3]

The Greek Community consists of 12 fraternities, 10 sororities and one colony.

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

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

Colonies: Alpha Epsilon Pi.[4]

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 and Theta Tau.

Suspended Fraternities: Phi Kappa Psi[5] and Beta Theta Pi.[6]

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

Notable alumni



Arts, broadcast and entertainment


  • Robert Crandall, Former President and Chairman of the Board, American Airlines
  • Thomas Ryan, CEO of CVS Corporation
  • Alfred Verrecchia '67, '72, President and CEO, Hasbro, Inc
  • Rodger B. Dowdell, CEO American Power Conversion
  • Bruce Sherman, Investor and CEO of Private Capital Management
  • Michael D. Fascitelli, President and Trustee of Vornado Realty Trust
  • Vincent Sarni, Former Chairman & CEO of PPG Industries
  • Morton Irvine Smith '88, Chairman of Irvine Capital Holdings, LLC.
  • John Geddes '74, Managing Editor, New York Times
  • Nancy McKinstry '80, President & CEO, Wolters Kluwer, Amsterdam
  • Tony Horton (exercise instructor), Fitness Guru and developer of P90X


  • Robert Ballard '75 PhD, '86 Hon., Oceanographer, discoverer of the RMS Titanic, Professor and Director of URI's Institute for Archaeological Oceanography
  • Elizabeth A. Craig, biochemistry professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Brian J. McCartin '76 BS, '77 MS, Mathematician, recipient of the 2010 Chauvenet Prize, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Kettering University
  • Robert B. Rheault, Jr., Ph.D.'96, Marine biologist and aquaculture consultant
  • Sandra Thornton Whitehouse, PhD '94, Marine biologist and environmental consultant; also the wife of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.



  • Outside Providence shot its private school sequences at Green Hall, among other locations at the Kingston Campus.
  • Hard Luck was shot on the W. Alton Jones Campus.
  • Underdog shot some of its scenes at the Providence campus.
  • The Clique Movie shot its private school sequences at Green Hall
  • Hachiko: A Dog's Story starring Richard Gere, shot pivotal scenes in Edwards Auditorium, Green Hall, and the Fine Arts Center.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 41°28′51″N 71°31′33″W / 41.48071°N 71.52580°W / 41.48071; -71.52580

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