University of Rhode Island, commonly abbreviated
as URI, is the principal public research
university in the State of Rhode Island, with its main campus in Kingston area of South Kingston, 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
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.
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
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
, and the Colonial Athletic Association
in the NCAA Division I
Championship Subdivision for football. The wide range of
athletic facilities include the Ryan Center, Keaney
Gymnasium, 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
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.
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
GO RHODE 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!"
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
- 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
- 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,
Fellowship, NAACP, and the PRSSA.
- Kappa Psi, Beta Epsilon –
- 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
- 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
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.
,Alpha Tau Omega
,Beta Theta Pi
,Lambda Chi Alpha
,Pi Kappa Alpha
,Tau Epsilon Phi
,Zeta Beta TauPhi
Sororities:Alpha Chi Omega
,Alpha Delta Pi
,Sigma Delta Tau
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
- 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
- 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.
- Jimmy Baron – Played in the NBA Summer League for the Utah Jazz. He is currently playing basketball in
Turkey. He is the all-time three-point shooter in the University of
Rhode Island and Atlantic 10
- Kahiem Seawright - Former forward for URI. He is currently
playing professional basketball for CB Tarragona in Spain.
- Tavorris Bell – Former basketball
player at URI who scored 1,147 career points and was a teammate of
Lamar Odom. He was a featured streetball
player in the AND1 Mixtape
Tour Volume 2 video.
- Parfait Bitee – Former point guard
for URI. He also played on the Cameroonian men's national
basketball team that won the silver medal at the FIBA Africa
- Dawan Robinson - NBA player
(point guard) for the Los Angeles
- Johnny Ezersky – Former NBA
player for the Providence
Steamrollers, the Baltimore
Bullets, and the Boston
- Sean Colson – Former NBA player for
the Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Rockets
- Ron Rothstein – Former coach in
the NBA for the Miami Heat and the
Detroit Pistons. He was the first
coach of the Miami Heat.
- George Mearns – Former NBA player
for the Providence
- Earl Shannon – Former NBA player
for the Providence
- Bob Shea – Former NBA player for the
- Claude English – Former NBA
player for the Portland Trail
- Steve Chubin – Former NBA player
for the Indiana Pacers
- Armand Cure – Former NBA player for
- Bill Von Weyhe – Former NBA
player for the Boston Celtics
- Stanley Stutz - Former NBA player
for the New York Knicks
- Dennis McGovern – Former NBA
player for the New York Knicks
- Horace "Pappy" Owens – former NBA player
for the New Jersey Nets and the
- Chester Jaworski – basketball
player. Led the nation in scoring in his senior season. He also won
national player of the year award in his senior season.
- Ernie Calverley – Former
NBA player with the
former URI Head Coach
- Tom Garrick, Former NBA player for
the San Antonio Spurs,and Los Angeles Clippers, Former Head Coach
for URI Women's team.
- Tyson Wheeler, Former NBA player
for the Toronto Raptors
- Cuttino Mobley, Former NBA player
for the Los Angeles Clippers,
Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and the New York Knicks
- Lamar Odom, NBA player for the
Los Angeles Lakers
- Frank Keaney, Former URI mens
basketball coach. The inventor of URI's team color Keaney Blue.
He is also
in the Basketball
Hall of Fame
- Will Daniels, NBA player for the
Chicago Bulls. He is currently playing
basketball in Greece.
- Tom Penders former college
basketball coach. Coached at URI and led them to their first-ever
sweet 16 appearance. He is also 30th all-time in division 1 wins as
a coach. He also has the 2nd most seasons as a head coach. He is
13th all-time in 20 win seasons. He has coached at more schools
than any other coach.
- Jim Baron, Current coach at URI. He
has the 59th most wins of active coaches. He is a 5-time Atlantic
20 coach of the year. He is also the father of former URI player
Jimmy Baron who is the Atlantic 10
all-time 3-point shooter.
- Todd Bozeman, Head Coach, Morgan
State University men's basketball
- Jim Christian, Head Coach, Kent
State University men's basketball
- Steve Furness, Former NFL player for Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions
- Dave Stenhouse,
Former Major League Baseball
pitcher with the Washington
Senators from 1962 to 1964 and coach of the Brown
team from 1981 to 1990.
- Wendall Williams, Former NFL
player for the San Francisco
- Frank Ferrara, Former NFL
defensive end for New York Giants,
Hollywood stunt man
- Geoff Cameron, MLS player for
Houston Dynamo, 2009 MLS
- Sasha Gotsmanov, MLS player for the Colorado Rapids
- Andy Williams, MLS player for Real Salt Lake, formerly for Columbus
- Danleigh Borman, MLS player for Red Bull New York
- Dana Quigley, PGA Tour golfer
- P. H. Horgan
III, PGA Tour golfer
- Paul Kenyon, Sports writer,
- Andy Gresh, Sports analyst, Fox Sports, WSKO, ESPN Radio, Patriots Rock Radio Network
- Tim Gray, Sports reporter, NBC Sports
- Chad Spenser, Pro golfer
Arts and entertainment
- Jim O'Connor, TV host, Food Network
- J. T.
- Ross Kauffman, Co-Writer,
director, producer, Born into
- Matt Gallant, Television
- Christiane Amanpour, Chief
International Correspondent, CNN
- John King, national
correspondent for CNN
- Masta Ace, Rapper
- Robert Crandall, Former
President and Chairman of the Board, American Airlines
- Thomas Ryan, CEO of
- 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
- John Geddes '74, Managing Editor, New
- Nancy McKinstry '80, President & CEO, Wolters Kluwer,
- Robert Ballard
'75 PhD, '86 Hon., Oceanographer, discoverer of the RMS Titanic, Professor and Director of URI's Institute for
- Brian J. McCartin '76 BS, '77 MS, Mathematician,
recipient of the 2010 Chauvenet
Prize, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Kettering