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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Prominent URI alumnus appointed to head R.I. Board of Governors, 3 other alumni named to board

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 2, 2011 -- Gov. Lincoln Chafee today tapped four talented University of Rhode Island alumni to serve on the state's Board of Governors for Higher Education. Leading Providence businessman, Lorne A. Adrain '76, has been appointed chair of the board.

As Chafee explained in describing the challenges facing Rhode Island higher education, “Given this cycle, a dynamic approach is needed, and I have full faith that, under Lorne’s thoughtful leadership, these new appointees will support me in my efforts to develop the strategies and programs necessary to bring significant improvement to our higher education system.”

Adrain, managing director of Ballentine Partners, LLC, an independent wealth management firm in Providence, is well known for his entrepreneurial leadership, innovative ideas and philanthropy. He is the founder of the initiative to establish National Neighborhood Day, and of KindMark, a leader in the creation of software and technologies that advance philanthropy. Adrain is co-founder and served as chairman of Social Venture Partners – Rhode Island, an organization that engages successful entrepreneurs in innovative community initiatives. He is also co-founder of www.BetterProvidence.org, which aims to bring the voice of citizens and taxpayers together for better governance. Adrain earned a bachelor of science degree from URI in 1976 and his master of business administration from Harvard Business School in 1983. He is married to fellow graduate, novelist Ann Hood '78,

According to URI Vice President Robert M. Beagle: "Lorne is a consensus builder who likes to look at the big picture. Years ago as URI Alumni Association president, he proactively worked with us to build the Alumni Association into a national organization. He has a strong commitment to the importance of public higher education and its value to Rhode Island."

In addition to Adrain, the other appointees are: Joan C. Abrams; Dr. Antonio Barajas; Amy Beretta; William C. Maaia; Eva-Marie Mancuso; Jane B. Sherman; Michael M. Tikoian; John A. Walsh; and Joseph B. White. URI Vice Provost emeritus Thomas Rockett, whose term expires in 2012, will remain on the board.

Among these new members, Barajas, Mancuso, and Walsh hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University.

Dr. Antonio Barajas: Emergency room physician at Roger Williams Medical Center; president of the Rhode Island Mexican-American Association. Barajas is involved with the Brown University Medical School’s mentoring program, is president of the Rhode Island Mexican-American Association, is a Board member of Hospice Care of Rhode Island, and is chairman of the Rhode Island Coalition for Immigrants and Refugees at the International Institute in Providence. He received his bachelor's degree in microbiology and chemistry from URI and his medical degree from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara School of Medicine, during which time he also studied at Prince George’s County Medical Center in Maryland.

Eva-Marie Mancuso: A graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a law degree from Suffolk University, she is managing partner at Hamel, Waxler, Allen & Collins. Before joining the firm, Mancuso served as assistant attorney general for Rhode Island. She has served as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island. Mancuso has been honored as the R.I. Business and Professional “Woman of the Year,” is a recipient of the South County “Business Woman of Achievement” Award, and received the “Outstanding Service Award” from the URI Alumni Association. She served on the URI Alumni Association board when Adrain was president.

John A. Walsh: Walsh has served as a social studies teacher and department chair at North Kingstown High School, where, among other accomplishments, he developed the school’s world history curriculum. Walsh currently serves on the Advisory Committee for Educator Evaluation Systems at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and for many years also was an adjunct instructor at URI's School of Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College and a doctorate in education from URI and RIC.