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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI’s facts about fall 2005

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 7, 2005 -- Here’s how many students are at the University of Rhode Island this fall and a few of the things planned for them—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 received and reviewed more than 14,680 applications for enrollment. This represented a two percent increase from last year.

• About 2,500 freshmen students have enrolled at the University this fall. Of those, about 52 percent are from Rhode Island, up from 45 percent last year.

• URI freshmen come from 32 states and from 18 different countries, including Germany, China, and Iceland. After Rhode Island, the top states represented in the freshmen class are Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

• This year's freshman class includes 20 valedictorians and 13 students who ranked second in their high school graduating classes.

• About 23 percent of the students in this freshmen class will receive the University's Centennial Scholarships.

• The average combined SAT score for the entering freshman class was maintained at 1119 this year and the average class rank is in the top 26 percent of the high school graduating class.

• There are approximately 11,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students at URI this year.

• About 4,300 undergraduate students live in the 19 URI residence halls on campus and in on-campus apartments. Nearly 750 students live in sororities, fraternities and specialty houses on campus.

*As of August 1, 2005

Fall Highlights

September 13 Honors Colloquium opening night. This year, the University will explore the timely topic of “Contemporary Sport: Obsession or Healthy Pursuit.” Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, will kick-off the semester-long series by speaking about the “State of Intercollegiate Sport.” The colloquium will feature other notable speakers including Bob Cousy, Celtics’ Hall of Fame member; Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach; and Anita DeFrantz, member of the International Olympic Committee. A complete schedule of the lectures, panel discussions and more can be found online at

September 13 Excellence Awards 2005. President Carothers and Provost Swan will present the URI Foundation awards for teaching, scholarship, administration and staff excellence. This event will be held in concert with the Honors Colloquium.

• September 17 Grand Opening. The new $4.7 million, 21,000 square foot Alumni Center located at 73 Upper College Rd. will hold a series of special events to welcome alumni, faculty, staff, and students to their new home. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday, Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. at the Center. The event is open to the public. Other celebrations will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 14 for students and Thursday, Sept. 15, for faculty and staff. The three-story structure provides 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. More information is available at

• September 26-30. The 9th 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. Most events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule visit

• 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. 1, 15, 29 and Nov. 4. The programs provide potential students with a chance to learn about the admissions process, financial aid, scholarships and more. Visitors can register for the program online at

• October 7-8. Homecoming 2005. The homecoming tradition continues with 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, music, food, entertainment and more. The URI v. Towson game starts at noon on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Meade Stadium. Find more at

• October 8. Meade Stadium Renovation: With the help of a private fundraising drive that has reached $440,000 toward its $500,000 goal, the University plans to break ground on Oct. 8 for construction of the west stands in Meade Stadium. The University will match the contributions when the $500,000 goal is reached. The administration has already provided $350,000 for the new scoreboard installation and the renovations to the east stands. In addition, monies have been set aside for a comprehensive master plan for other improvements to the stadium.

• October 8. College of Nursing turns 60. A 60th Anniversary Celebration, “Too Marvelous for Words!” will be held Saturday, October 8 for the College of Nursing. A special evening of fun, food, music, and dancing, the event will feature a silent auction, raffles, and the sounds of the Original Moonlighters. All proceeds will benefit the College of Nursing. Honorary event co-chairs are U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee and Mrs. Stephanie Chafee, Governor Donald Carcieri and Mrs. Sue Carcieri ’65, Doctors Cynthia Sculco ’65 and Tom Sculco. For more information visit

• October 28-30, 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. For more information visit


• Newest fraternity on the circle: One of the University’s most distinguished fraternities, Zeta Beta Tau, has moved into its new home on 8 Fraternity Circle. The 10,000-square-foot, two-story house was built on the site of the fraternity’s former chapter house that was destroyed by fire in 1994. The design was taken from drawings of the original house. Last year, URI’s ZBT chapter received national honors and is well respected for its strong commitment to campus and community service and academic performance. A ribbon cutting will be held this fall.

International Engineering II: Based on its success and increased demand, the International Engineering Program (IEP) will be expanding next door to the only remaining fraternity on Upper College Rd. The Chi Phi-owned fraternity has agreed to a ten-year lease/purchase of the property. The University will provide the fraternity an alternate building site on Fraternity Circle. To be completed early next year, the new IEP house will serve 75 students after the $1.65 million renovation. The IEP offers language and engineering dual degrees in German, French, and Spanish.

• Independence Hall: The University’s largest classroom building, Independence Hall, will undergo a complete rehabilitation this year. The classes usually held in Independence Hall have been relocated to other buildings on campus. Here’s where the departments have all gone: English, Languages, Communication Studies classes and faculty and staff are in the “Surge” building at 210 Flagg Rd. and the Communications Studies department is located in Davis Hall.

• Emergency Medical Services: Work is underway on new headquarters for the University’s volunteer Emergency Medical Services. Construction of permanent quarters, which will include a garage to shelter the ambulance, bunk-rooms and training facilities, will help to attract and retain student volunteers to serve throughout their college years. The quarters will be located in new space adjacent to the Central Receiving building on Plains Rd. which will be upgraded and expanded as part of the project.

• Housing for the future: As the University's first-year students continue to enjoy living in the completed Freshman Village, the Office of Capital Projects is now working to have campus housing ready for more upperclassmen. The project involves construction of two apartment-style residences and a third suite-style facility. Together, the residences will provide about 800-beds. A portion of the $76 million project should be completed by the fall 2006. Concrete is now being poured and preliminary site work has been completed. This will be the first new residence hall built on campus since 1971 and combined with a new dining hall, it also will be the largest building project in the University's history.

• New dining dimensions: While Hope Dining Hall served its last burgers in May, students will be able to watch the new dining option rise before their eyes over the next year. A new $22 million, 43,000 sq. ft. dining hall, café and convenience store is in the works. The new facility will replace the services previously provided in Hope and Roger Williams dining halls. Construction of the new building goes out to bid in September, with contractors expected to begin work in November. The demolition of Hope Dining facility is currently underway. The project will be complete in January 2007.

• Towering Renovations: In addition to these projects, additional renovations are underway and planned for existing residences halls. The north end of Heathman Hall has been fully renovated and students moved in this fall. The balance of the renovations will be completed by the summer of 2006. The Little Four -- Hutchinson, Peck, Merrow and Tucker -- and two others, Gorham and Fayerweather, will be completed in the 2007-2008 academic year at an estimated cost of $27 million. Hutchinson (May-Sept. ’06) and Tucker (May-Sept. ’07) will be improved with life safety system upgrades. Merrow (1/07) and Peck (May –Dec. ’06) will benefit from significant renovations, including the installation of elevators. Fayerweather and Gorham renovations are in design.

The Kingston Connection – Parking & Transportation

• Parking changes: The Plains Road parking lot, located across from the Ryan Center and designated for commuter parking, has been doubled in size to accommodate an additional 833 vehicles. In addition, a new 650-car lot north of the Dining Services Distribution Center on Flagg Road will become available in late September. Parking designations have also changed to better match student usage, with the Dairy Barn lot becoming resident parking and the Fine Arts Center lot commuter parking. Read more about transportation, parking and roadway changes.

• Roadway changes: Due to the construction of new student housing, Heathman Road, the White Hall parking lot and the lot behind Adams Hall are all closed. With the demolition of the Hope Dining Hall, staff parking adjacent to the site has also been closed.

• Gated parking: Eleven new traffic control gates have been installed and are operating to limit traffic on service roads through the middle of campus and to restrict access to the Chafee, Library, and Roosevelt parking lots to faculty and staff vehicles. The computer-controlled gates will automatically open for emergency vehicles and will be adjusted to accommodate access for after-hours public events.

• "The Kingston Connection": the campus transit system begins its fourth 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. Two new shuttle runs will be servicing the University this year.

Planning ahead for North Campus transformation

• Health Sciences Quadrangle: The University of Rhode Island expects to transform the north district of the Kingston Campus into a major hub for science, research and technology. Over the next four years, the University proposes linking the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences to three new buildings that will house academic programs in pharmacy, nursing and chemistry and form a health sciences quadrangle adjacent to Flagg Road. By constructing adjacent buildings for academic programs with similar needs, efficiencies can be designed to facilitate the sharing of laboratory space and equipment and to encourage interaction among program personnel.