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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 2003

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 19, 2003 -- 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 completed Freshman Village and continued transportation improvements to a special honors colloquium series and a full complement of upcoming improvements in facilities.

* About the Students
* Campus Living
* Early Fall Event Highlights
* Parking & Transportation
* Construction on Campus

About the Students

  • The University Admissions office received and reviewed more than 14,400 applications for enrollment, representing a 16 percent increase from last year. In-state applications were up by four percent out-of-state increased by 22 percent.
  • About 2,600 freshmen students will enroll at the University this fall, which will be URI's largest freshmen class ever. (Last year, there were 2,400 freshmen.) Of those, about 47 percent are from Rhode Island.
  • URI Freshmen are coming from 31 states and from eight different countries including Ireland, Scotland, Korea, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Turkey and Canada.
  • 19 Valedictorians and nine students who ranked second or third in their high school graduating classes are part of this year's freshman class.
  • The Average SATs for the class are 1116 and the average class rank is in the top 29 percent.
  • About 23 percent of the students in the freshman class will receive the University's Centennial Scholarships.
  • Fun facts -- Among the freshmen, don’t be surprised if you think you’re seeing doubles. The University expects to enroll 12 sets of twins this year. Also, three freshmen plan to migrate south to Rhode Island from Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Among the freshmen, 13 percent are minorities. Following a trend at the University and nationwide, 56 percent of the incoming class are female.
  • In addition to the freshmen, approximately 550 transfer students will also enroll this fall.
  • Altogether there will be approximately 10,800 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students at URI this year.

Campus Living

  • This fall, about 4,385 students will live in the 19 URI residence halls. Last fall 3,900 students, including approximately 2,200 freshmen lived on campus. Students will move in on Sunday, August 31.
  • The University's "Freshmen Village," featuring exterior community spaces and redesigned areas that define the Village's southern edge is now complete. A completion celebration ceremony is planned for students this fall.
  • As demand for on-campus housing and the number of incoming freshmen has increased, this year there will be about 600 triples in the residence halls, compared to about 300 last year. Parents and prospective students have been notified about the campus-housing situation in every orientation session this summer. Many schools nationwide are facing similar situations.
  • To respond to the high demand for on-campus housing and adjust for the availability of renovation funds from the state, the University will keep all 19 residence halls open until May 2004. No residences will be off-line during this academic year.
  • Funding has been secured and plans are underway for new campus residential facilities to be ready for the January 2006.
  • About five percent of undergraduate students live in fraternities or sororities, and about 62 percent commute from home or nearby communities.

Early Fall Event Highlights

September 1. Freshmen move in and participate in "First Night" activities in the evening, followed by "First week" activities.

September 3. Classes Begin. One highlight: Returning business administration students will for the first time step through the doors of the College's newly reopened facility, Ballentine Hall, and find their professors in fresh classrooms with the latest technology and tools for teaching (photo at right).

September 10. Convocation 2003. The university-wide Convocation ceremonies will be held at 3 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium to honor URI's 2003 Excellence Awards winners.

September 10. Honors Colloquium opening night. "Globalization" is the topic for discussion during the fall semester as a distinguished group of speakers deliver stimulating evening addresses on the many sides of globalization. New York Times editorialist and independent journalist Tina Rosenberg will inaugurate the Honors Colloquium in Edwards Auditorium at 8 p.m. All of the events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule is available at

September 13. Raising the Roof. Faculty, staff and students from the College of Human Science and Services (HSS) and the community will pick up hammers and begin to build a new home for a South County family. For the first-time ever, the administration, faculty and staff of a College -- not a student group, church, or other -- has taken the lead in raising the funds, the workers, and more to raise the roof on a new home for a Habitat for Humanity family. The build begins on Sept. 13 and continues each Saturday with teams of students led by HSS faculty. The College's fundraising efforts -- including a yard sale, pin sale, concert and more -- will continue through the year.

Sept. 29-Oct. 3. The 7th Annual Diversity Week events will be held on the University's Kingston Campus. Just as the many sides of "Globalization" are explored through the Honors Colloquium, a group of students, faculty, staff, and more are exploring the many sides of diversity at the Seventh Annual Diversity Week. The event runs Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 and offers an array of arts, music, dance, film, educational and other activities to celebrate the reality of and importance of diversity in higher education, in the workplace, in the community, and in the global arena. Coordinated and sponsored by the University's Multicultural Center, most of the events are free and open to the public.

October 11. Homecoming 2003. A new homecoming tradition continues with the alcohol-free festivities at the University's Kingston Campus. This year's activities include a 5K race to benefit URI student scholarships, the All-Alumni Brunch, Watson House Open House, games, music, food, entertainment and more. The URI v. Villanova game starts at noon at Meade Stadium.

October 24-26, Family Weekend. Highlight events include a Student Leadership Program, a Multicultural Cabaret, football, the President’s Brunch and more.

The Kingston Connection – Parking & Transportation

Parking once again has top billing as something new. This year the Parking Services Department has made some major improvements. Students will register on a secure web site to purchase and receive their special parking decal and access to their own online parking profile. Resident-student decals will be $175 and Commuter decals will be $100. This decal will be valid for one year starting Sept. 1, 2003 and ending Aug. 31, 2004.

"The Kingston Connection," the campus transit system that hit the road last fall begins its second year, while Parking Services' new "Traveling Chickens" have hit the road for their first adventures. Students are invited to take one of Rhody's traveling chickens on their vacations near and far and to take a picture that will become part of URI's Chicken Tracks web site for all to view.

Construction on Campus

After celebrating the opening or reopening of several new or improved buildings over the last few years, members of the University's Capital Projects team are sharpening their pencils and gearing up for the next round of improvements. There won't be as much dust flying around campus as the planning, design work, bid processing, and other elements set the stage for projects to begin next year and schedules for internal moves are arranged. Here's some of what will be happening behind the scene:

Designs for renovation and rehabilitation of Lippitt Hall, one of the University's oldest granite structures (c. 1897) and Independence Hall, (c. 1960) the building with the greatest number of classrooms. Plans call for projects to begin during the summer of 2004 pending the ability to deliver interim classroom space.

Planning and designs for continued utility improvements, including for the replacement of the steam and water lines that span from East Hall across the east side of the quadrangle to Green Hall.

Preliminary designs for the apartment-style housing for juniors and seniors to be located along Alumni Ave. Preliminary plans call for some portion of the project to be ready for January 2006.

Planning for the 38,000 square foot Sustainable Communities Facility to house academic departments and a research center associated with the sustainable initiative on campus.

Planning ahead for the new biotechnology building and the renovation of the Biological Sciences Center.

As this work progresses, here's where the dust is or will be flying:

The new 21,000 square foot Alumni Center on Upper College Rd. begins to take shape for a fall 2004 opening.

Planning and work for the second International Engineering Program residence. This program site will focus on students who will double major in engineering and Spanish.

Continued asset protection projects such as paving of parking lots, roadways and other improvements needed for the parking plan and in support of overall University goals.

The major projects completed over the past academic year included the Ryan Center and Boss arena; Chafee Social Sciences Center re-opening; Green Hall; Ranger Hall exterior; Ballentine Hall reconstruction and addition; and the Women's Center on Upper College Rd.

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Page last revised Tuesday, August 19, 2003 .