University of Rhode Island-Facts about fall 2000
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 31, 2000 -- Here's how many students are heading
for the University of Rhode Island this fall and a few of the things that
await them on the Kingston Campus-from a special Convocation 2000 ceremony
and various "First Night" activities for students to a special
honors colloquium series and a full complement of upcoming changes and improvements
About the Students
About 2,350 freshmen students will enroll at the University this
fall, continuing the record set last year as the largest class since 1990.
Of those, approximately 45 percent are from Rhode Island.
All together there will be approximately 10,700 undergraduate and
3,500 graduate students at URI this year.
Seven Valedictorians and 23 students who ranked second or third
in their high school graduating classes are part of this year's freshman
Average SAT scores of the incoming class are six points higher
this year than last. In-state SAT scores are 11 points higher.
About 23 percent of the students in the freshman class (about 546
students) will receive the University's Centennial Scholarships. About
52 percent of the Centennial Scholars are from Rhode Island.
This year URI will be admitting its most diverse freshman class ever;
about 300 of the approximately 2,350 freshmen are minorities. Since he came
to URI in 1991, URI President Robert L. Carothers has boosted minority enrollment
from 6 percent to 12 percent. Similarly, minority representation on the
faculty has risen, from 9.6 percent to 13.8 percent.
Honors Program. The Honors Program, which is located in Lippitt
Hall, has continued to grow in both its number of students, more than 400
this semester, and the number of courses offered, now more than 25. The
URI Honors Program began in the 1960s and has continued to offer opportunities
for students to explore different topics in new and challenging ways.
Students are enrolling in such innovative honors courses as "The
Race and IQ Controversy," "Minds and Brains: Philosophy of Psychology,"
"John Wayne to Woody Allen: Images of Masculinity;" "Murder
and Mayhem," and "The Films of Martin Scorsese: Ethnicity and
Early Fall Event Highlights
Classes Begin on Wednesday, Sept. 6
First Night 2000. This year the University will hold a special Freshman
Convocation geared toward first-year students who will be spending their
first night at URI on Sunday, Sept. 3, from 78 p.m. in Keaney
Gym, followed by a series of fun activities at the Memorial Union.
Convocation 2000. The general, university-wide Convocation ceremonies
will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. The featured speaker
will be Coretta Scott King who will kick-off the URI Honors Colloquium lecture
series. Four URI Foundation Excellence Awards will be presented.
Unveiling. Prior to Convocation, a sculpture of the late Rev.
Arthur L. Hardge, a local civil rights activist and founder of URI's Talent
Development program, will be unveiled on Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m. on
the plaza of the Multicultural Center.
Honors Colloquium, "Nonviolence: Legacies of the Past, Bridges
to the Future," begins on Sept. 12 with a semester-long
exploration of the diverse strands of nonviolence, both as a philosophy
and as a means of positive social change. Speakers will address significant
aspects of their life's work thus far, and their concerns and hopes for
the future. In addition to Coretta Scott King, speakers include: Rajiv
Vora, of the Gandhi Peace Foundation; Mairead Corrigan Maguire
who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work as co-founder of
the Peace People; Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam; and Legendary
folk artist Pete Seeger.
"Same PlanetDifferent World." A series of events
begins for students immediately following First Night, and continues throughout
the year. In September alone, events include such things as a Beach Party
on the Quad, Ram Tours to Six Flags New England, the Boston Red Sox, a Whale
Watch, and more.
Homecoming festivities begin on Thursday, October 12 with the
selection of a Homecoming King and Queen, live bands, bonfire, food, and
a banner contest. The homecoming game begins at noon on Saturday, October
14 when the Rams take on James Madison.
Family Weekend will be held Nov. 3-5, 2000.
About 3,500 students, including approximately 2,100 freshmen,
will live in the 18 URI residence Halls. Students will move in on Sunday,
About 10 percent of undergraduate students live in fraternities
or sororities, and about 53 percent commute from home or nearby communities.
Renovations. The University is preparing for a grand opening
of Barlow Hall, the first of 14 residence halls to be renovated and the
first phase of the URI "Freshman Village." Weldin Hall will be
completed January 2001, as renovation of Bressler Hall begins. These renovations
are the first phase of a $64 million, renovation plan to be completed over
seven years for which funding is being sought in RI Bond Referendum #4
on this year's ballot. The project was started with $20 million in previously
approved revenue bond funds.
Women's Center. The URI Women's Center will move into Phi Sigma
Kappa on Upper College Road sometime in the next year. Building on the model
established with the successful URI International Engineering Program, the
facility will not only serve as office space for the Center, but also offer
housing to women undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in
Construction on Campus
New Signs. The first thing returning students and faculty may notice
are the prominent new signs that have appeared in front of buildings throughout
the Kingston Campus. With the URI logo in white on a deep blue background
and names of buildings clearly marked, the new signs will provide community
members and visitors with more visible location markers for easier navigation
around the campus. The new sign format was recommended in the Campus Master
Plan, and the initial signs were produced by re-cladding existing signs
with an applied surface to test the new look.
Upper College Road. Changes continue on Upper College Road. The
buildings that formerly housed Sigma Nu and Sigma Chi fraternities will
soon be demolished. The URI Foundation will build a new facility on the
Sigma Nu site, and the Alumni Association and Division of University Advancement
will construct a new home on the Sigma Chi site.
Coastal Institute Kingston Campus: The new 50,000 square-foot,
three-story Coastal Institute building on the Kingston Campus is expected
to be ready for occupancy in December. Funded entirely from Federal
funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the facility will provide
office and laboratory facilities devoted to research, service, and instruction
regarding marine and environmental issues. It will also feature a state-of-the-art
environmental policy simulation laboratory.
Convocation Center. Progress continues to be made with plans
for the new URI Convocation Center. Official groundbreaking ceremonies
will take place during URI's Homecoming Weekend, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2000
at 10:30 a.m. in Keaney Gym. The Convocation Center, and the separate NHL-size
ice skating facility are scheduled to be completed in the Fall 2002.
Ballentine Hall. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the
renovation of the home of the College of Business Administration will
take place on Nov. 17. Ballentine will be closed in December,
with construction being completed over the following 18 months. A steel-framed,
masonry exterior building will be constructed this fall using fast-track
building techniques near the Dining Services Warehouse to house faculty
displaced from Ballentine.
Green Hall. Home to the URI Admissions Office, Green Hall will
also undergo major exterior rehabilitation and interior remodeling beginning
this January. During construction, Admissions will move to the former Theta
Chi building on Upper College Road. When Admissions moves back into Green
Hall 18 months later, it will be joined by the URI Enrollment Services group
now housed in Roosevelt Hall.
Other Projects on the horizon: Planning and design work continues
for major renovations of Ranger and Lippitt Halls. Independence renovation
design work will begin as State funding is made available from the approved
bond referendum. The University will also use $1 million in grant funds
from the U.S. Department of Education for the design of the Sustainable
Communities building and landscape the remainder of the "environmental
neighborhood" around the greenhouses. Plans are also advancing with
Paideia (a Greek-American organization dedicated to higher learning), to
construct a Hellenic Center behind the Fine Arts Center, which would house
the URI Center for the Humanities.
Steam Plant. The University's 48-year-old central steam plant
serving the Kingston Campus is now complete and a major portion of the
steam distribution system has been upgraded.
For Information, Linda Acciardo, Jhodi Redlich, (401) 874-2116