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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island - Facts About fall 2004

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 23, 2004-- Here’s how many students are heading for the University of Rhode Island this fall and a few of the things that await them at the Kingston, Providence, and Bay Campuses—from a special honors colloquium series with top-notch speakers, performances and exhibits to continued transportation improvements in Kingston, and to a full complement of improvements in facilities.

About the Students

• The University Admissions office continued its record-breaking trend, having received and reviewed more than 14,580 applications for enrollment. This represented a two- percent increase from last year. In-state applications were up by four percent out-of-state increased by 22 percent.

• Meeting last-year's largest freshmen class size, about 2,600 freshmen students will enroll at the University this fall. Of those, about 45 percent are from Rhode Island.

• URI Freshmen are coming from 30 states and from 14 different countries. After Rhode Island, the top states represented in the freshmen class are Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

• In this year's freshman class, there are 18 valedictorians and eight students who ranked second in their high school graduating classes.

• The average SATs for the class are 1119 and the average class rank is in the top 26 percent, a three percent improvement from last year.

• About 24 percent of the students in this freshmen class will receive the University's Centennial Scholarships.

• Altogether there will be approximately 11,200 undergraduate and 3,300 graduate students at URI this year.

• About 4,300 students, including approximately 2,500 freshmen will live in the 19 URI residence halls on campus. About five percent of undergraduate students will live in fraternities or sororities, and about 62 percent commute from home or nearby communities.

• Living & Learning. For the first time ever, a freshman residence hall will become affiliated with a college. Beyond 'themed' housing, Browning Hall will be dedicated to freshmen enrolling in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The college will engage in outreach and other activities with the students.

Voters Take Center Stage this Fall

• Campaigning for the future. In Rhode Island's general election on Nov. 2, voters will be asked to support four bond referenda for higher education. If passed, these referenda will fund major capital projects at URI and Rhode Island College. The bond referenda questions are: 5, 9, 10, and 13, each described in brief below.
> Referendum 5 will authorize up to $50 million in bonds to renovate residence halls at URI and RIC;
> Referendum 9 will provide $14 million to construct an Ocean Exploration and Research Center and rehabilitate the Pell Marine Science Library on the Narragansett Bay Campus;
> Referendum 10 will authorize $6.7 million to construct an athletic training and performance center at the Kingston campus and renovate facilities at Meade Stadium and Keaney Gymnasium; and
> Referendum 13 will provide $50 million for the construction of the education and research "Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences."

Fall Highlights

• September 5. Freshmen move in and participate in "First Night" activities in the evening, followed by "First week" activities. And on September 8. Classes Begin.

• September 8-9; 18-19. Auditions. The University's Theatre program will be looking for three casts of characters for their upcoming shows. Auditions will be held for their line-up that includes: The Grapes of Wrath; Beauty and the Beast, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

• September 14. Honors Colloquium opening night. This year, the University community will explore the issues of "Food and Human Rights and Hunger and Social Policy." David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World will begin the semester-long series speaking on civic engagement and the global movement to end hunger. A complete schedule of the lectures, panel discussions and more can be found online at

• September 15. Convocation 2004. The university-wide Convocation ceremonies will be held at 3 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium to honor URI's 2003 Excellence Awards winners. Recipients are: Professor John M. Grandin, College of Arts and Sciences, Administrative Excellence; Professor Phillip G. Clark, College of Human Science and Services, Scholarly Excellence; Joanne Lawrence, College of Arts and Sciences, Staff Excellence; and Assistant Professor Valerie A. Karno, College of Arts and Sciences, Teaching Excellence.

• A Boost for Biotech. On September 20, a grand opening will be held for the new Biotech Manufacturing Laboratory at the University's Providence Campus. The lab is an integral part of the new hands-on graduate biotechnology program.

• Sept. 27-Oct. 1. The 8th Annual Diversity Week will be held on the Kingston Campus to celebrate the importance of diversity and identity in higher education, the workplace, the community and the world. The week is brimming with arts, music, dance, film and other activities and features such crowd-pleasing favorites as the Poetry Slam, the Diversity Video and Film Festival, the Pangaea Roots Music Series, dozens of workshops and more. Some of the events have been so well-attended in recent years, live broadcasts are planned. Most events are free and open to the public.

• Meeting the University this Fall. Thousands of high school seniors and their families will attend one of the University's annual "Meet the University" programs that will be held on Oct. 2, 16, 30 and Nov. 5. The important programs provide potential students with a chance to learn about the admissions process, financial aid, scholarships and more.

• October 22-23. Homecoming 2004. The new homecoming tradition continues with the alcohol-free festivities at the University's Kingston Campus that include reunions, college- and department-based gatherings, a 5K race to benefit URI student scholarships, the All-Alumni Brunch, music, food, entertainment and more. This year, the Office of Career Services will host an Alumni Open House and provide services to University alumni. The URI v. UMASS game starts at noon at Meade Stadium. For more visit online.

• Nov. 5-7, Family Weekend. This annual program brings thousands to the South County area each fall. Families of undergraduate students have the chance to participate in numerous activities including attending classes with their student, touring various spots and learning about programs on the Kingston and Narragansett Bay campuses, attending a football game and more.

• Nov. 15-19, Flashback! Memorial Union turns 50. The University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1954 dedication of the Memorial Union by showing snippets of the last five decades. Faculty, staff and students will travel through a new decade each day of the week, Nov. 15-19.


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. Here's some of the work and planning taking place:

Alumni Center comes to life: Construction on the new $4.7 million, 21,000 square foot Alumni Center on Upper College Rd. is underway. The three-story structure will provide meeting and reception space and well-designed office space for more than 60 Alumni Association and University Advancement staff members. Construction of the facility began in July 2003, and is expected to be completed this fall. The state and the Alumni Association are sharing costs for the facility.

• Looking beyond the Freshman Village. As the University's first-year students continue to enjoy living in the completed Freshman Village, the Office of Residential Life is finalizing plans to have new housing ready for this group's junior year. Approved by the R.I. Board of Governors for Higher Education, these projects are funded entirely by revenue bonds.

This 800-bed, apartment-style facility with a retail area beneath it, will be dedicated to upperclassmen. The $68 million project gets underway this spring and will be completed by the fall 2006. This will be the first new residence hall built on campus since 1971 and combined with the new $16 million dining hall, it also will be the largest building project in the University's history.

• Towering Renovations. In addition to these projects underway, two towers of Heathman Hall will be taken off-line for renovation in spring '05 and with approval of the 2004 bond referendum #5, renovations on the remaining residence halls will be scheduled for completion.

The Next Move(s). Designs are in progress 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. Some departments from both buildings already have been relocated to the Carlotti Administration building; others will move to Davis Hall after the new Alumni Center is complete.

• Asset Protection. Continued utility improvements and asset protection projects, including the replacement of the steam and water lines that span from East Hall across the east side of the quadrangle to Green Hall are now underway.

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.

The Kingston Connection – Parking & Transportation

"The Kingston Connection," the campus transit system begins its third academic year and continues to refine routes and schedules. The service is widely used by students living both on-and off-campus as well as by faculty and staff.

The Parking Services Department continues its successful on-line registration process. Students 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 are $175 and Commuter decals are $100.

And for a bit of Rhody fun, the Parking Services' mascot, Donna the traveling chicken, shows off her summer travels at URI's Chicken Tracks web site.