View Quadangles Print Version →


Read Class Notes Online →





Past Issues →




subscribeOnline picture



Advertise with Us →



Bookmark and Share



subscribeOnline picture RSS feed


One of a Kind

Who wears the color purple, coils her hair in a gold crown, and drives a pair of Mercedes-Benzes with license plates TALK and TALK2?

It’s Agnes G. Doody, 80, professor emerita of communication studies, who recently delivered the first lecture at dedication ceremonies of the newly-named Agnes G. Doody Auditorium in Swan Hall. “I’m absolutely overwhelmed by this,” Doody said of the celebration in her honor. “I didn’t see it coming, and I’m very humbled by it all. It really blew me away!”

Former students, faculty and fans of the legendary professor attended the Oct. 29 dedication: “Agnes Doody has the unique ability to make you reach higher than you ever imagined you could,” said her former student Doug Rubinstein ’68.

Born in 1930, Doody grew up on a 400-acre farm in North Branford, Conn. She milked cows, was a crackerjack rifle shot, and in 1946 became the first female to win the State Meat Animal Fair when exhibiting her cattle. During World War II, she was an airplane-spotter until officials discovered she was only 15 and had lied about her age.

Doody admits that she was expelled from Central Connecticut State College for hitchhiking. She then enrolled at Emerson College in Boston, where she was a self-described underachiever placed on academic probation. Nonetheless, she graduated and ultimately received a doctorate from Penn State.

Doody began her URI teaching career in 1958 as director of Forensics, Department of Speech and Theatre—one of only 61 women in a faculty of 400. She quickly earned notice for a uniquely effective teaching style, along with an ability to ride a bicycle in high heels.

When denied a raise because she was married, she threatened URI President Fran Horn that she would have her marriage annulled and take out a newspaper ad explaining why.

She is currently a speech and communication consultant at Arthur Associates in Wakefield, R.I., a company she founded in 1988.

Contributions to the Agnes G. Doody Scholarship support student scholarships in the Harrington School of Communication and Media. For more information, contact Thomas Zorabedian at 401.874.2853 or

By Marcia Grann O’Brien

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

Rhody Ink

Job Seekers Take Note

Rhody Postcards: Paul J. Evans ’77

The Invested Life, Jennifer Sherwood Gaul ’89

The President’s View

A Victory for All of Rhode Island


A Competitive Edge In the Real World

Diversity in the Field

What Everybody Isn’t Talking About … (Race and Racism on Campus)

Mission Possible

The Fifth Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards

Journey’s End

News & Views

All in the University Family

Sick From Watching Medical Shows?

Goodbye Terrace Apartments, Hello Hillside Hall

Charles Wasn’t the Only Interesting Darwin

Ocean Scientist Awarded Equivalent of Nobel for Sustainable Development

Grad Student’s Concrete Idea Wins Kudos

In Memoriam


Press Box

Athletics Hall of Fame

URI Athletics Launches

In Memoriam: Maurice “Mo” “Zarch” Zarchen ’49

URI to Host 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional

Class Acts Profiles

Max Lechtman ’57

Carolyn Viens ’81

Michelle Vale ’97

Brian Doyle ’06

Carol Liu ’90 & Marybeth Caldarone ’90

Jonathan “John” Shadeck ’06

Back Page

One of a Kind

Alumni Chapters →


Where Are URI Alumni?

Thank You Rhode Island

$126 Million Thanks!

Upcoming Events

QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles