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The University of Rhode Island, commonly abbreviated as URI, is the principal public research university in the State of Rhode Islandmarker, with its main campus in Kingstonmarker area of South Kingstonmarker, and three other campuses located throughout the state, including Providence's Feinstein Campus, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich. URI has 14,546 undergraduates and 4,549 graduate students.The average incoming freshmen for the fall of 2008 had a GPA of 3.36 and a combined SAT score of 1659. It is a land grant, sea grant, and urban grant institution. There are many well recognized areas of study at the university including the Colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing, and the Graduate School of Oceanography. In 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked it in its list of best colleges and gave it a selective rating.


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, and the original farmhouse still lies on the campus today and maintained as a small museum. In 1892, the school became the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The first class comprised only seventeen students, and they graduated two years later. In 1909, the school's name was again changed to Rhode Island State College and the school's programs expanded beyond its original agricultural education mandate. In 1951, the college became the University of Rhode Island by an act of the General Assembly with 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.[607199]


Located in a traditional New England town, URI offers students a land, sea and urban experience. The university has over 100 majors available within seven different colleges. The most popular degrees at URI are communications studies, psychology, nursing and human development & family studies. URI has great pharmacy and engineering programs which are not offered at any colleges in the state, with professors coming from top schools including Harvard and MIT. The university also has an internationally recognized International Engineering Program.


URI Athletics Logo
URI Football Helmet
The University of Rhode Island Department of Athletics and Recreation offers 22 intercollegiate sports (12 women and 10 for men) and 17 club sports programs. The university is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association, and the Colonial Athletic Association in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision for football. The wide range of athletic facilities include the Ryan Centermarker, Keaney Gymnasiummarker, Meade Stadium, Mackal Field House, Tootell Aquatic Center, Boss Ice Arena, URI Soccer Complex, Beck Field and URI Softball Field. Other facilities available for students include fitness rooms, indoor track, swimming and diving pools, twelve tennis courts, and two beach volleyball courts, among others.

The team colors are light blue (officially referred to as "Keaney blue"), white and navy blue. The school's mascot is a ram. It was chosen in 1923 as tribute to the school's agricultural history. There has not been a live ram at the school since 1974, with "Rhody", a student in an anthropomorphic ram costume, roaming the sidelines in his place.[607200]

Fight Song

Original University of Rhode Island fight Song Circa 1922

We're Rhode Island born

We're Rhode Island bred

And when we die

We'll be Rhode Island dead

So go go Rhode Island, Island

go go Rhode Island, Island


U! R! I!

The fight song features a physical aspect as well as a vocal. To begin the fight song, students start with a slow clap that stops before the shouting of URI. At the end, the "U-R-I!" is emphasized by making a fist with the right hand. Then placing said fist on the left shoulder on "U," the right shoulder on "R," and is completed by throwing it up in the air on "I!"

Student Organizations

Quadrangle on an early September evening at 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 are:

  • 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.
  • WRIUmarker — radio station
  • The Good 5 Cent Cigar — campus newspaper
  • Renaissance Yearbook — campus yearbook
  • URI Students for Social Change
  • URI Student Action for Sustainability
  • Local branches of national organizations such as: Hillel, Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, NAACP, and the PRSSA.
  • Kappa Psi, Beta Epsilon – Pharmaceutical Fraternity
  • 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 adverstising, 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 currently has 400 members and offers students the opportunity to experience the art of dance.

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.

The Greek Community consists of 11 fraternities and 9 sororities. There are also 4 national organizations that have colonized over the past year.

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

Sororities:Alpha Chi Omega,Alpha Delta Pi,Alpha Phi,Chi Omega,Delta Zeta,Phi Sigma Sigma,Sigma Delta Tau,Sigma Kappa, andZeta Tau Alpha

Colonies:Sigma Chi,Theta Chi,

Local Sorority:Gamma Xi Delta

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.

Traditions and trivia

  • A rifled cannon, fired by Andrew Hartman in the 19th century, burst on the Quadrangle during the ceremonies surrounding the chartering of the college in 1892. The school placed the barrel of said cannon, known as "Ben Butler", in a permanent mount, guarding the Quad.
  • Butterfield Dining and Residence Hall is referred to as "The Butt," a comical anatomical reference, or "Butters," a reference to the complimentary slang term popularized by hip-hop music.
  • Roger Williams Dining Hall (now closed) was referred to as "Ro-Jo's", a reference to the old Howard Johnson's restaurants.
  • Many off-campus students live "down the line" in Narragansett, neighborhoods such as Eastward Look, Scarborough Hills, Bonnet Shores, Narragansett Pier, and Great Island. This refers to the defunct Narragansett Pier Railroad line connecting the West Kingston train station to the down-the-line villages of Peace Dale, Wakefield and Narragansett Pier.
  • The Carothers Library, the largest library in the State of Rhode Island, has over 1.3 million books and subscriptions to over 30,000 electronic journals.

Notable alumni



Arts and entertainment





See also


External links

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