The Full Wiki

Providence College: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

This page refers to a college in Rhode Islandmarker. For the college in Manitobamarker, see Providence College and Theological Seminarymarker.

Providence College is a Catholic college in Providencemarker, Rhode Islandmarker, the state's capital city. With a 2007–2008 enrollment of 3,966 undergraduate students and about 900 graduate students, the college is known for its programs in the liberal arts and sciences. Founded in 1917, Providence College has been ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top two regional colleges in the Northeastern United States for the past nine consecutive years. Furthermore, it is the only college or university in North America administered by the Dominican Order of Friars.

The Providence College campus is located at One Cunningham Square, just off of River Avenue, about two miles (3.3 km) northwest of downtown Providence.

Providence College offers fifty majors and twenty-four minors and is one of the few schools in the country that requires all its students to complete 20 credits in the Development of Western Civilization, which serves as a major part of the college's core curriculum. Providence College is a member of the Big East Conference and Hockey East.


Founding of Providence College

Providence College was founded as an all-male school in the year 1917 through the efforts of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, and with the blessing of Pope Benedict XV. The central figure in the college's incorporation was Bishop Matthew Harkins, Bishop of Providence, who dreamed of an institution which would establish a center of advanced learning for the Catholic youth of Rhode Island.

The school opened its doors at the corner of Eaton Street and River Avenue in 1919 with only one building, Harkins Hall, which currently serves as the home of the school's administration and a classroom building.

The school's first president was Dennis A. Casey, O.P. who served from 1918-1921. He was succeeded by William D. Noon, O.P. who in his service from 1921-1927 oversaw the first commencement exercises at the College, as well as many of the first athletic contests and further expansion of the campus to include the first dormitory, a house for ecclesiastical students named Guzman Hall (now called Martin Hall, used by the Dominican brethren on campus).

1927-1935: Early expansion

Lorenzo C. McCarthy, O.P. was elected president of the College in 1927, and in his service until 1936, the college campus further expanded to include another specialized dormitory named Thomas Hall, which now serves as the president's villa and was renamed to Dominic Hall. One of the oldest clubs at Providence, the Friars Club, was established in 1928 and still operates to this day (known by their signature white suit coats while at school events and while giving tours of the campus to prospective students). Soon after this Providence athletics soon received their moniker, as the "Friars" in black and white had early success in basketball, football, and baseball. PC conferred its first Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, and Master of Sciences degrees by 1935, the year when the school's newspaper (The Cowl) was first published.

1936-1945: World War II and the Foley era

John J. Dillon, O.P. became the fourth president of PC in 1936, and his leadership helped the tiny college survive through the tough times of World War II. He brought big names to Providence to help raise money for the further expansion of the campus, such as Judy Garland and Glenn Miller. By 1939, Aquinas Hall had been built to accommodate more students enrolling in general studies, but with the impact of World War II upon enrollment, Dillon instituted a chapter of the Army Specialized Training Program in 1943 to allow the College to continue operation. A class of approximately 380 soldiers-in-training studied in engineering at Providence for a year before going overseas. When World War II was over, Providence returned to normal and a new president awaited them, Frederick C. Foley, O.P. In his two years of service Foley helped the College transition back into peacetime.

1946-1961: Post-war success

Robert J. Slavin, O.P. is perhaps the most influential and expansive president in College history. By 1951 he helped open Albertus Magnus Hall, the main science complex at Providence, oversaw the original Student Congress, dedicated the old War Memorial Grotto (to the PC students who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War II as well as those who studied in the Army Specialized Training Program), listened to the first broadcasts from the campus radio station WDOM, organized Friar athletics into the NCAA, and established the College's ROTC chapter. In 1955, Slavin acquired property that pushed the boundaries of campus to Huxley Avenue; also, in addition to hiring Joe Mullaney as the men's basketball coach, Slavin opened Alumni Hallmarker as the new home for Friars basketball instead of playing in local Providence high schools. The bond between the College and its basketball team is unbreakable due to the efforts of Slavin, and he was once quoted after a NIT quarterfinal upset over Saint Louis Universitymarker, "Seven hundred years of Dominican education and no one ever heard of us until we put five kids on the floor at Madison Square Gardenmarker." His efforts to promote the name of Providence to the country were fulfilled in 1961 when the Friars won their first NIT championship on the leadership of senior Lenny Wilkens; sadly, Slavin died only weeks after that victory and was buried in the Dominican cemetery located on campus along with his predecessor. The campus's student union is now named after Slavin to honor his service to PC.

1961-1965: The Dore era

Vincent C. Dore, O.P. took over as president of the College soon after Slavin's death, and in his service until 1965, Dore opened the doors of the College's graduate school as well as a new dormitory building, now called Meagher Hall. Providence basketball took home its second NIT championship in 1963, and upon returning to Rhode Island nearly 10,000 students and fans lined Route 6 from the Connecticut state line to downtown Providence to get a glimpse of the returning Friars and their star John Thompson. Dore is commemorated today by a girls' dormitory bearing his namesake; he was succeeded by William P. Haas, O.P. who helped bring Providence through a turbulent time at the end of the 1960s.

1965-1973: A time of change

Haas helped create two popular Providence traditions early in his presidency, Freshman Parents' Weekend and Junior Ring Weekend (JRW). Only months after the first JRW, Haas announced the establishment of the Study Abroad Program for eligible juniors, and after years of fundraising, Haas opened Phillips Memorial Library in 1969 to the students and faculty of the College. 1970 proved to be a controversial final year for Haas; not only did Providence decide to end its policy of being an all-male institution by allowing the admittance of women for the 1971-1972 school year, but students walked out of classes to protest the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in a nationwide phenomenon of campus activism. After stepping down at the end of 1970, Thomas R. Peterson, O.P. was elected as president of the College in 1971. Peterson started off his presidency with a bang by instituting the unique Development of Western Civilization program, organizing the first Freshman Orientation programs, and made Aquinas Hall the co-ed dormitory all in 1971. With the enrollment nearly doubling, Providence basketball tickets became a hot commodity at the cramped Alumni Hall gymnasium, and with the opening of the Providence Civic Centermarker in 1972, the Friars moved downtown for a magical season (in 1976, the College moved commencement exercises to the Civic Center).

The men's basketball team went to the Final Four in the 1972-1973 season on the play and leadership of Providence natives Ernie DiGregorio and Marvin Barnes, while the women's basketball team played their inaugural season in Alumni Hall. Further, the men's hockey team played their first season in their new home on campus, Schneider Arenamarker, in 1973; the arena still houses the skating Friars as well as intramural college games, local youth leagues, Rhode Island's high school state hockey championships, and even serves as a concert venue. Bruce Springsteen did not play at Schneider when he visited the campus in 1973, but, however, did perform at Providence's Spring Weekend that year. In 1974, Peterson helped the College acquire the property of the former Charles V. Chapin Hospital on the other side of Huxley Avenue. The campus was now split in half by Huxley Avenue, providing an "Upper" campus (due to the uphill nature of the landscape on Smith Hill) and "Lower" campus (the new, flatter area of PC).

1978: Aquinas Hall fire

One of the darkest hours in the College's history, and even perhaps that of the state of Rhode Island until the 2003 The Station nightclub firemarker, occurred in the early morning hours of December 13, 1977. With finals looming in the minds of many students, some female residents of Aquinas Hall organized a floor party to celebrate the semester and their efforts in a campus-wide Christmas decoration contest, followed by a snowball fight late into the early morning hours. Coming in to the old building and drying off using hairdryers across the fourth floor, the faulty wiring threw sparks out of two outlets in room 405. Igniting the room in flames, the decorations acted similarly to gasoline and spread the fire rapidly up and down the hall; although the fire was put out in less than 45 minutes, 10 female students died as a result of the fire in Aquinas Hall. Four died as a result of smoke inhalation, four died within minutes due to burns from the flames, and two died as a result of jumping out of the fourth floor of Aquinas Hall before firefighters could reach them by ladder. Today a plaque exists on the brick wall of Aquinas Hall on the wall facing Huxley Avenue and closest to St. Dominic Chapel commemorating those 10 girls. With sorrow in their hearts, PC students carried on through the worst, including the Blizzard of 1978, even making their way downtown to see the Friars upset Dean Smith and the University of North Carolinamarker.


Providence's influence on college athletics is shown by their place in the creation of the Big East Conference in 1979 by recently retired men's basketball coach Dave Gavitt, and in the creation of the Hockey East conference in 1983 by men's hockey coach Lou Lamoriello. During this time, Peterson as president saw the student body changing drastically, as women outnumbered men in incoming classes and non-Rhode Island students soon outnumbered in-state Friars. He also opened Blackfriars' Theatre in the basement of Harkins Hall and the St. Thomas Aquinas Priory at the entrance of campus to accommodate the growing number of Dominican brethren living on top of Smith Hill. For all of his efforts, Peterson is now commemorated by the Peterson Recreation Center on campus, connected to Alumni Hall, the Slavin Center, and the Concannon Fitness Center. When Peterson stepped down at the end of 1984, John F. Cunningham, O.P. succeeded him at the beginning of 1985, and soon implemented a campus-wide computer program. Cunningham also saw the Friars win the inaugural Hockey East Championship over rival Boston Collegemarker and reach the championship game of the NCAA Tournament to lose 2-1 to RPImarker.

Men's basketball again took center stage on the Providence campus, as coach Rick Pitino and senior Billy Donovan took the Friars to their second Final Four appearance in 1987. Cunningham used the exposure and fundraising opportunities to build two apartment-style residence halls on campus, providing an alternative to dormitory and off-campus housing for upperclassmen. Cunningham also promoted multicultural diversity and volunteer service during his time as president, holding the first Black History and Multicultural Awareness Celebrations while also organizing the first Urban Action program for incoming freshmen.

In 1993, Cunningham collaborated with Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Feinstein to form the Feinstein Institute for Public Service and "build" the Feinstein Academic Center, which houses the country's first Public Service Management major. (The Feinstein Academic Center is not actually a "new" building, but a rebuilding of the former Stephen Hall dormitory. The building was formerly in the shape of a capital "I;" the rear half of the building was filled in, however, to create more space.) Cunningham stepped down as president in 1994, and died late in 2006; he is commemorated by Cunningham Hall, an apartment-style residence hall near the corner of Huxley Avenue and Eaton Street on "Upper" campus. Philip A. Smith, O.P. succeeded Cunningham in 1994.

1994-2005: The Smith era

The College received many accolades from national publications under Smith's leadership, such as top regional college (North) by U.S. News & World Report. Smith also oversaw the new influence of women's athletics at Providence, as several alum and current students won the gold medal for women's hockey as part of the U.S. national team in Nagano, Japan. Also, in a very controversial decision, Smith stood by athletic director John Marinatto in ending the very successful baseball program at Providence in order to comply with the provisions of Title IX. By 2001, a new on-campus chapel, St. Dominic Chapel, was built next to Aquinas Hall and in front of DiTraglia Hall; the Byzantine-style structure can seat up to 600 worshipers, holds the Campus Ministry Center, and is frequented most often by students at the "last chance" Masses at 10:30 on Sunday nights. Two other major buildings were built on "Lower" campus, including Suites Hall, a suite-style residence hall to provide added upperclassmen housing, and the Smith Center for the Arts, commemorating Smith's efforts as president while giving music, theater, and other fine arts majors state-of-the-art equipment and space to perfect their craft. Fr. Smith died on November 4, 2007 and is now buried in the on-campus Dominican cemetery.

2005-present: The Shanley era

After Fr. Smith stepped down in 2005, Brian J. Shanley, O.P. was elected as president of the College. Shanley so far has overseen the renovations to St. Catherine of Siena Hall and the construction of the Concannon Fitness Center. In addition to renovating numerous buildings on campus, Fr. Brian J. Shanley O.P. has also taken numerous steps to increase diversity at the school. Providence College, often criticized for having a homogenous student population, removed its SAT requirement. However, this does not mean the school does not accept the SAT, but rather, students are not required to submit their scores during the admissions process. If students decide to matriculate to Providence, they are then required to submit their scores. In doing so, students from less economically privileged backgrounds are given a chance to compete in the competitive admissions process, since often, it can be burdensome to pay for SAT tutors and private courses. In addition, a significant portion of the school's scholarship aid was transferred to need-based aid, in order to give more students the opportunity to afford the college. In 2009, Shanley oversaw the renovation and expansion of the Slavin Center, adding new student space, a coffee shop, and a new studio for the campus radio station.


Located on in the city's Elmhurst neighborhood atop Smith Hill, the highest point in the city of Providence. There are forty-four buildings on campus. There are twenty-one academic and administrative buildings, nine dormitories, five student apartment-style buildings, one suite-style residence building, five Dominican residences, and three athletic buildings, as well as six outdoor athletic facilities, including a "turf field." The buildings are as follows:


  • (Bishop) Harkins Hall (administration, classrooms, and the former Blackfriars Theatre; named for Bishop Matthew Harkins, the man responsible for the school's foundation)
  • Moore Hall (the former Antoninus Hall, the home of the DWC program)
  • Albertus Magnus Hall, Hickey Laboratory, and Sowa Hall (the science complex)
  • The Feinstein Academic Center (the former Stephens Hall, home to the Feinstein Institute; named for philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein)
  • Phillips Memorial Library
  • Slavin Center (the school's student union, which includes the school bookstore, McPhails Entertainment Center, a large meeting hall, the studios of WDOM, 91.3FM, the school's radio station, the offices for the Board of Programmers, Board of Multicultural Student Affairs (BMSA), Friars Club, Veritas, the Cowl, Student Congress and other various student organizations)
  • Accinno Hall (computer science building, constructed on the site of a former maintenance shed)
  • Smith Center for the Performing Arts (home of the music and theatre programs; opened in 2004; named for former school president Father Phillip A. Smith)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Hall (formerly used for music department classrooms and performance space, now serves as the office building for the theology and philosophy departments; includes a library, chapel, and classroom space)
  • Howley, Koffler, Sullivan, and the Service Building (used mostly for office space for the school, all located on the former Chapin property)
  • St. Dominic Chapel (the school's main chapel, dedicated in 2001, and also the home of the school's Campus Ministry and Pastoral Service Organization)
The site of the chapel is the former site of the War Memorial Grotto of Our Lady of the Rosary, a large grotto which was built in 1948 as a site for worship and a memorial to the seventy-nine alumni who died in World War II. It served for many years as the site of commencement exercises and ROTC commissionings, but was closed to make way for the chapel. There is a smaller grotto on the side of the chapel which was built with some of the materials from the original.

Residential halls and apartments

  • Aquinas Hall (the oldest continuously used dorm on campus, contains the recently renovated Center for Catholic & Dominican Studies, the former main chapel and former cafeteria of the campus; named for Saint Thomas Aquinas)
  • Meagher and McDermott Halls (located perpendicular to the ends of Aquinas, which makes up the residential quad)
  • McVinney Hall (located to the north of Meagher Hall, a ten-story building on the summit of Smith Hill which has the highest view in the city; named for former Bishop McVinney)
  • St. Joseph Hall (also houses the Residence Life offices, well known as the home to the men's basketball team)
  • Raymond Hall (also contains the school's main cafeteria)
  • Guzman Hall (the second building to carry the name, also contains a small chapel; named for Saint Dominic de Guzmán. This is also the second dormitory to bear this name; the prior dormitory was partially demolished, with the front portion turned into Martin House).
  • Dore Hall (located on the Chapin property; named for former president Father Vincent Dore)
  • Fennell Hall (a former nurse's dormitory from the Chapin property, now mostly single and split-double occupancy for men)
  • Cunningham, Mal Brown and DiTraglia Halls (the three original apartment towers, located near the corner of Huxley Avenue and Eaton Street. Cunningham was named for the former president responsible for their construction (paid for, in large part, with the money from the 1987 Final Four); Mal Brown was a popular basketball team manager who died in a typhoid outbreak; and the DiTraglia family, who was responsible for a large donation to the school.)
  • Davis and Bedford Halls (located on the Chapin property and opened in 1994, the two largest campus apartment buildings)
  • Suites Hall (the newest on-campus residences, built just south of Bedford Hall)

Athletic facilities

  • Alumni Hallmarker (the original on-campus gymnasium, also contains a popular cafeteria)
  • Schneider Arenamarker (the home of Friars hockey)
  • Concannon Fitness Center (opened in the fall of 2007, the $15 million fitness center is over . It also contains a new lobby containing a unified entrance to the three main campus hubs: Slavin Center, Peterson Recretation Center, and Alumni Hall. It is named in honor of William F. Concannon, a 1977 PC graduate, who made a $2 million leadership gift in support of the construction.)
  • Peterson Recreation Center - includes a field house with an indoor track, indoor basketball courts, indoor tennis courts, raquetball courts, and the school's swimming pool, Taylor Natatorium, home of the Providence Friars Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Teams.
  • In addition, the school has numerous outdoor fields and tennis courts. Some of the club sports teams compete and practice off campus. The golf team practices at local courses, the sailing team practices at the Rhode Island Yacht Club and the Ultimate Disc team rotates their practice locations.

Other buildings

  • Dominic Hall (the President's residence)
  • Martin Hall (houses the Institutional Advancement offices)
  • St Thomas Aquinas Priory (a Dominican residence)
  • Formerly, there was also the Thomas House, a small house just west of the Slavin Center, and was the traditional guest house for dignitaries and the annual commencement speaker. However, the house was removed in the past decade, due to the realignment of roads and parking lots around the Concannon Fitness Center and the Turf Field.

DWC program

The Development of Western Civilization (commonly referred to by students as "Civ") program distinguishes Providence College from other liberal arts schools, and indeed, most colleges. The DWC program is a two year long program, required of all students attending the school, taken in students' first four semesters at the school. Meeting in Moore Hall, a lecture hall specifically redesigned for the course, the class meets 5 days a week, with one day being typically reserved for seminar work and/or exams. The class is taught by a team of professors, usually four - one who specializes in literature, one in theology, one in philosophy and one in history. Beginning at the beginning of history, students move through history, ending at present time when they have finished the two-year course. Original texts of philosophy, theology, and literature are used as the course progresses, and there are occasional music and art lectures as well. The goal is to give students a general well rounded knowledge of cultures development through history. The program is a very strong bond for students, since it is the only absolutely universal requirement of the college. Many students can identify with each other by what "team" of teachers they had (although the teams usually change slightly from year to year and, rarely, from semester to semester).

There is a tradition which has grown over time from the course called "Civ Scream." The event takes place the night before DWC final exams, and is usually centered on the "quad" area between Aquinas, Meagher, and McDermott Halls. It is intended to be a harmless gathering to let off steam from the long hours of studying for the intense course's final exam, and is completely unsanctioned. The "Civ Scream" can become loud with wild behavior. Over the past few years, Providence College has begun to monitor and govern the event with enhanced coverage from the Office of Safety and Security and with assistance from the Providence Police Department.


Providence Friars logo
The school's men's and women's sports teams are called the Friars, after the Dominican Catholic order that runs the school. They are the only collegiate team to use the name. All teams participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big East Conference, except for the men's and women's ice hockey programs, which compete in Hockey East and the women's volleyball program, which is independent.

The school's current athletic director is Robert Driscoll. The team colors are black and white, the same as the Dominicans, with silver as an accent color. The school's current logos and identity marks were released in 2002, and feature the profile of a friar wearing the black cappa (hood) of the Dominicans, above the word mark. All teams use the primary logo except the hockey teams, which have used the famous "skating Friar" logo since 1973. In addition to the Friar mascot, the school's animal mascot was a dog named "Friar Boy." The school's biggest rivalries are Boston Universitymarker and Boston Collegemarker as major hockey rivals while UConnmarker and URImarker are major rivals for the school's other sports, especially in soccer, swimming and diving, and basketball.

Men's basketball

Friars men's basketball has a storied history in NCAA Division I basketball and is an original member of the Big East Conference, a conference created by a group led by former Providence coach Dave Gavitt and headquartered in Providence. The Friars play their home games at the 13,000 seat Dunkin' Donuts Centermarker in downtown Providence, a facility that in 2008 underwent an $80 million renovation. The arena has been touted by many as the most difficult arena to play in the Big East due to raucous fans and a boisterous student section. The Friars have rountinely averaged over 10,000 fans per game during the 30+ year history of the facility, all while earning postseason berths and placing many players in the National Basketball Association. In addition to producing NBA players, former Friars have also gone on to become basketball icons in the coaching world, such as Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan, Lenny Wilkens, Pete Gillen, Rick Barnes, and John Thompson.

Providence College won the 1961 and 1963 NIT championship and participated in the 1973 and 1987 Final Four, and the 1997 squad advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. Overall, the team has 15 NCAA basketball tournament berths and 16 NIT berths, as well as twenty four basketball All-Americans.

Marks and seals

The college's graphic identity represents the shape of a window in Harkins Hall with a flame inside, representing Veritas, or Truth, the official college motto. The college motto was borrowed from the Dominican Order, and has been used since the college's inception.

The official seal of Providence College is an ornate triangle, representing the Trinity, with the flame of learning and a scroll with the College Motto, Veritas, superimposed on it. The seal is surrounded by a ring with the words Sigillum Collegii Providentiensis ("Seal of Providence College") inside it.

Notable alumni

Alumni of Providence College include successful individuals from a wide range of fields such as politics, business, medicine, and athletics.

Notes and references

  1. Dominican College of California, Aquinas College of Michigan, and St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York all have Dominican heritage, but none is administered on a day-to-day basis by the Dominicans

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address