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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

Raye Kingston to get roasted at URI's Feinstein-CCE reunion

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- September 13, 1999 -- "This is an exciting time," says Raye Kingston of Warwick, sitting in her office at the University of Rhode Island's Feinstein College of Continuing Education. The office is filled with a collection of giraffes, plants, and family photos. "We have a strong management team here and lots of team spirit."

This from the woman with the consistent bright outlook who has worked at the college for the past 30 years. She's the woman administrators, staff, students, and alums can always rely on to cheerfully answer their questions. The woman who can efficiently take notes at a meeting dressed for Halloween as an angel with a halo.

This is also the slim, dark-haired, high-heeled woman who chased a pocketbook thief through the corridors and stairs of the old CCE building until he ran into the waiting arms of Dean Walter Crocker. "Walter was hanging a picture in his office when he heard the commotion," explains Raye. "He came out into the hallway with a hammer and the guy ran right into him."

Now 48, Raye came to URI when she was 18, fresh out of Kathrine Gibbs. URI's Feinstein-CCE alumni couldn't let Raye's three decades of labor go unrecognized and so plan to honor their favorite administrative assistant at their reunion on October 2. The alumni association will recognize Raye in the way she likes best-by roasting her with humor and love.

Raye has worked for associate, assistant, acting as well as "regular" deans. "My job has changed dramatically from dean to dean," she says. Each dean has a different style." For example, one former dean liked to dictate into a tape recorder or in person. Her current boss, Dean Walter A. Crocker, likes to write everything out.

Raye has been in charge of faculty contracting since 1975. "Each course taught at our college comes with a contract. It's a paper chase," Raye says.

Like many of the students the college serves, Raye earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1982, 10 years after she began her studies.

She took two years off during that time to marry Richard Kramer who worked on the second floor in the Department of Education in the old CCE building. A friend introduced them. They were married after dating only 5 and 1/2 weeks. "It was a smart decision," she says with a big smile. "We celebrate our 22nd anniversary August 21."

When she married Richard, Raye became an instant mother to his two young daughters. Tabitha, the oldest is now 29 years old and a mother of 4-year-old twin sons and a 2-year-old daughter. Melissa, now 26, expects a baby in November.

For the past three years, Richard has battled cancer. The latest medical arsenal employed this past April was a bone marrow transplant. "I have such incredible admiration for him," says Raye who has reduced her hours to bring Richard back and forth to all sorts of medical appointments and to simply to be with him. "I told him we would go through this together and I meant it.

"Someone said they have to kill you so that you can live. It's been very tough but it's going in the right direction now."

She's given thought of hanging up her mouse after three decades but hesitates. "There are always surprises. Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, something will happen. It keeps me interested."

-xxx-

For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

 

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