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President's Office at The University of Rhode Island

Remarks by President Robert L. Carothers 10/7/2003

October 7, 2003

Remarks by President Robert L. Carothers given at the 60th Annual Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council awards ceremony. The President was one of two recipients of the 2003 Robert M. Goodrich Distinguished Public Service Award.

"I want to begin by thanking the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council for this recognition. I accept it on behalf of all the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Rhode Island. This is a wonderful honor, but it has been an even greater honor and privilege to be part of URI, an institution which for past 111 years has been creating opportunity for the extraordinary, ordinary people of Rhode Island. At URI we say that we are building a new culture for learning, one where learning is active, not passive; collaborative, not isolated or competitive; with high expectations of all the members of our learning community. That building project, like so many others, has gone exceedingly well.

I accept this award too on behalf of all my colleagues in public service. While it is now a tradition in Rhode Island to view state employees with considerable cynicism, it is important to remember that Dr. James Prochaska, who received the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society this year for his work in cancer prevention, that Jim Prochaska is a state employee. So is Dr. Bob Ballard, whose work in the discovery of the ocean’s secrets is known around the planet. So is Dr. Tom Mather, whose research into the causes of Lyme Disease has changed the way we fight this debilitating sickness. So is Dean Jeffrey Seemann, who is leading the effort to bring the very best of research to the growing biotechnology industries in our state.

Coach Jim Baron is a state employee. So is Judith Swift, whose wonderful theatrical productions have run for years at Trinity, Theatre by the Sea, and at countless other venues around Rhode Island. So are the URI campus police officers who worked through last night to keep some of our students, who got a little too excited about the Red Sox victory, to keep those students safe and property secure. So are out food service employees, who run the largest restaurant in the state of Rhode Island, serving 1.4 million meals this past year.

I read Governor Carcieri’s letter to all state employees this past Labor Day and it felt good to know he understands the value these good folks add to the life of our state.

Finally, I want to than the University’s alumni, many of whom are in this crowd tonight. We wouldn’t have the Ryan Center, the Boss Arena or the new Ballentine Hall for the College of Business or any of the other great projects now complete without the leadership of folks like Tom Ryan, Brad Boss, Heidi Kirk Duffy, Vin Sarni, Al Verrecchia, Victor Baxt, Henry Nardone, Bob Higgins, Dick Harrington and many more. Nor could we have done it without the support of our Board, chaired by Judge Frank Caprio, and our commissioner, Dr. Jack Warner, and our very good friends in the general assembly especially Senate President Bill Irons, Speaker Bill Murphy and …

Thank you all so much for allowing me to be a part of rebirth of the University of Rhode Island. And, Go Rhody!"

Notices from President Carothers