Senior found support system, family setting at URI
Shane Donaldson, 401-874-4894
Student Alumni Association president had ‘customizable experience’
KINGSTON, R.I. – May 17, 2010 - University of Rhode Island senior Robert Randall found the customizable college experience he was looking for when he arrived at the University of Rhode Island.
An entrepreneurial management major in the College of Business Administration, Randall made it a point to immerse himself in student life. A native of Westbrook, Conn. who later moved to Westerly, Randall found support, family and friendship during his undergraduate experience.
By attending URI, Randall followed in the footsteps of his parents, Janet Mazeau and William Randall, both alumni. His aunt, Nancy Randall, also attended the University. Though he had a family legacy here, Randall enjoyed his own unique experience at URI.
“My University of Rhode Island experience has been one filled with a lot of opportunities,” Randall said. “If you have an interest in a particular area, there will be a way to get involved. What you want to learn and achieve, URI makes possible.”
For Randall, one of the groups he became involved with was the Student Alumni Association, a student group that organizes the Homecoming Bonfire, Rhody Rally, Oozeball, Student Survival Kits and several other programs each year. Members participate in community service events each semester, and work closely with the University’s Alumni Association on outreach efforts to the entire URI community.
“For me, SAA means an enthusiasm for being a part of the University of Rhode Island,” Randall said. “We want the current student body to feel as though they are URI, not just now, but for the future as well.”
The Student Alumni Association became a second family for Randall during a tough personal time. During his sophomore year, Randall’s sister, Marie Mazeau, passed away. The association sent his family an Edible Arrangement and showed an outpouring of support that caught Randall by surprise.
“I really wasn’t expecting it at all, but there was so much friendship and support that came out of a time of need,” Randall said. “Knowing that I had had this family at URI helped me relax and start enjoying classes and life again. My sister’s death put a lot of things into perspective for me. I started being a more responsible person.”
The membership of SAA took notice, and Randall was later elected president of the group.
“That was a humbling moment,” Randall said. “Time passes very quickly in college. One minute you are a freshman looking for a way to get involved, and the next minute, people are looking to you for leadership. My time with SAA has meant so much.”
Randall also became involved with Student Action for Sustainability, a group dedicated to environmentally sustainable practices.
“I had never really paid much attention to environmental issues until my roommate gave me some perspective,” Randall said. “The more I learned about the difference any person can make by simply creating awareness and understanding how they can make an impact on our environment, the better I felt about the way I was living.”
As he looks to the future, Randall hopes to come back to URI to earn an advanced degree and continue his involvement with the Alumni Association.
“URI is a big part of me, and I hope other alumni realize they can still feel the same way if they want to get involved,” Randall said. “It is a benefit to the University and to the individuals to maintain that relationship, regardless of where they are.”
URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.