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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Dental family’s smiles are bright at URI Commencement

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 25, 2005 -- During the early 1970s, Bruce Gouin and Christine Benoit bumped into each other while climbing the University of Rhode Island’s notorious Elephant Walk. The two had been elementary school classmates growing up in Woonsocket and hadn’t seen each other since. The reunion led to dating and to marriage.

Three decades later, the couple returned to undergraduate commencement ceremonies at their alma mater to watch their son, Brendan earn his degree in biology.

The couple graduated from URI in 1974 and married in 1976 while attending Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Their practice, Arrowhead Dental Associates, is in Charlestown.

For Son Brendan, selecting URI was easy. “My parents spoke highly of it and my friends raved about it,” the 22-year-old competitive snowboarder says, noting that this year’s record snow accumulation kept him busy on the slopes with URI’s Snowboarding Club.”
Brendan will again follow his parent’s footsteps, or in this case their dental impressions, to Tufts dental school.

Daughter Annick will graduate from URI next year. She was planning to follow in her family’s dental path by majoring in biology in college until the spring of her senior year in high school. “I always loved apparel and designing clothes. I’m self-taught. In high school, I started a business making and selling pocketbooks and other items.”

Annick decided to follow what she loved and is enrolled in URI’s Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design Department, focusing on fashion design. She won first prize for her designs in a judged competition during this year’s Spring Splash. “All of my experiences at URI have been positive ones,” she says.

Annick’s step away from the growing dental tradition of the family may only be a small generational one. Her grandfather was a textile manufacturer based in Woonsocket with mills in New England, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Annick Gouin, URI class of 2006, and Brendan Gouin, URI class of 2005, pose with their parents Bruce Gouin and Christine Benoit, both URI class of 1974 during commencement ceremonies on May 22. URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.