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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

University of Rhode Island—Facts about fall 2001

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 4, 2001 -- 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 2001 ceremony to a special honors colloquium series and a full complement of upcoming changes and improvements in facilities.

About the Students
Fall Event Highlights
Campus Living
Construction Highlights

About the Students

About 2,200 freshmen students will enroll at the University this fall. Of those, about 47 percent are from Rhode Island.

All together there will be approximately 10,600 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 class.

  • The incoming class appears to be the brightest ever. Average SAT scores are 1117, 15 points higher this year than last. The average class rank is 27 percent, up from 33 percent last year.
  • About 29 percent of the students in the freshman class will receive the University's Centennial Scholarships, up from 23 percent last year.
  • Among the freshmen, 12.4 percent are minorities.
  • Following a trend at the University and nationwide, 58 percent of the incoming class are female.

Early Fall Event Highlights

Classes Begin on Wednesday, Sept. 5

Coastal Institute, Kingston Campus. An official opening celebration will be held on Friday, Sept. 7 for the new 50,000 square-foot, three-story Coastal Institute building on the Kingston Campus. Funded entirely from Federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the facility provides office and laboratory facilities devoted to research, service, and instruction regarding marine and environmental issues. It also features a state-of-the-art environmental policy simulation laboratory.

Convocation 2001. The general, university-wide Convocation ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. The featured speaker will be Lester Brown, chairman of Worldwatch Institute and president of the Earth Policy Institute. Brown's Convocation speech inaugurates the semester-long Honors Colloquium. Four URI Foundation Excellence Awards will also be presented.

Honors Colloquium on sustainability of natural resources, begins on Wednesday, Sept. 12 with a semester-long series of events designed to provoke discussion about the fair and sustainable use of natural resources. The Colloquium, "A Just and Sustainable Future: Overcoming Barriers to Action," will include weekly lectures, photography exhibits, film and video showings, a poster contest for K-12 students, and other activities. All events are free and open to the public. In addition to Brown, speakers will include: Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and a former U.S. assistant secretary of state; architect William McDonough, the sole recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development who was named by Time Magazine a Hero of the Planet; and Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and the leading voice for energy efficiency.

Homecoming 2001, October 20. Throughout the last year, faculty, staff, students and alumni worked hard to build a new homecoming tradition for the annual festivities held at the University's Kingston Campus. This year, a Homecoming Festival will be held in the area on east side of access road. Complete with music, food, and fun, the Festival will take place from 10 am - noon, break for the game, and then resume from 3-4:30 pm.

Family Weekend will be held Nov. 2-4.

Campus Living

About 3,500 students, including approximately 2,200 freshmen, will live in the 18 URI residence Halls. Students moved in on Sunday, Sept. 2.

About 10 percent of undergraduate students live in fraternities or sororities, and about 53 percent commute from home or nearby communities.

Renovations. With the completion of Barlow Hall (Aug. '00), Weldin Hall (Jan. 2001), Bressler Hall (Sept. '01) the University has made steady progress in the $64 million, seven-year plan to completely renovate its residence halls. Bressler's summer vacation renovations now completed, Butterfield Hall is next in line for its refresher starting this fall, followed by Browning Hall. About 3,500 students, including more than 2,200 freshmen, will live in URI's 18 residence Halls this year.

Women's Center. The URI Women's Center will be moving to the Upper College Road neighborhood this academic year. Next to the new Admissions Office, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will soon find the Violence Prevention Program and the Women's Center office located in the former Phi Sigma Kappa house. Work is expected to begin this fall, with the programs moving to their new home in January 2002. The residential component for women in science and technology, which is based on the model established with the successful URI International Engineering Program, is expected to be available in the fall 2002.

Construction Highlights

Among other things, the summer of 2001 at the University's Kingston Campus was about physical transformations. Book bags were replaced by tool belts, ball caps by hard hats, cars by trucks and tractors, and laptop computers by pneumatic hammers and drills. Nearly every corner of the campus was in a state of change. Here's a quick snapshot of some projects that have kept folks bustling about:

Open for classes. The temporary closure of the largest facility on the Kingston Campus last December, the Chafee Social Sciences Center, has in many ways redefined the concept of fast-track work. The building is now ready for partial re-occupancy this fall, with the completion of the first round of work, which involved the removal and replacement of windows and entryways in the two-story low-rise section. This portion of the building includes all four large lecture halls and classrooms. Throughout this entire process, the University's utmost concern has been, and continues to be, ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

Opening new doors. The front door for potential incoming students and their parents, the Admissions Office, was moved late this summer to a new temporary home just past the University entrance on Upper College Road. This move was made possible by the alumni of Theta Chi fraternity who recently sold their fraternity house to the University. The proceeds of the sale were donated to the URI Foundation to fund student scholarships, faculty research and other charitable activities at URI. Now visitors who are interested in applying to the University, taking a tour of the campus, or interviewing for admissions will easily find the Admissions Office staff and be welcomed at a convenient site on the edge of the main entrance to campus.

Building new foundations. Further down Upper College Road, final details are being hammered out for the URI Alumni Association and Division of University Advancement's new home as the neighboring URI Foundation facility is rising.

Steel rising. The changing profile of the Athletic Facilities is being led by continued progress on the new URI Convocation Center. Since the official groundbreaking just about one year ago, the Center is really on the rise. You can keep tabs on the phenomenal progress being made by logging onto and checking the site that's updated weekly with new images by the URI Publications Office.

Deep Freeze. Of course, there's ice on the horizon for Kingston, and ground preparations are well underway for the $12 million, 2,500-seat, Olympic-sized ice arena that is scheduled to open next fall for its year-round operation.

Ballentine Hall. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the home of the College of Business Administration took place last November. While the building provided vital temporary office space during the spring and summer for faculty and staff displaced due to the closure of the Chafee Social Science Center, January 2003 is the target date for completion of the Ballentine renovation and construction project. The University will work aggressively to compress that construction schedule, but anticipates an 18-month construction period from the June 1 start date. In the meantime, a steel-framed, masonry exterior building was constructed to temporarily house business faculty and staff.

Green Hall. At Green Hall, major exterior rehabilitation and interior remodeling will now get underway with the movement of URI Admissions Office in late August. When Admissions returns to Green Hall 18 months later, it will be joined by the URI Enrollment Services group now housed in Roosevelt Hall.

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 US 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.

For Information: Jhodi Redlich, (401) 874-2116,

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