Message from President Dooley
Dear Friends of URI,
I think everyone at the University of Rhode Island is ready for spring. The rhythms of University life dictate that with Commencement right around the corner, we are also awaiting news from accepted students deciding whether URI will be their new home in the fall. To those of you who are weighing your wonderful choices, we say congratulations and we are confident that you will choose wisely!
One of the many reasons we believe URI is an excellent choice is our commitment to community, equity, and diversity.
Bringing this commitment to life, we marked the 20th anniversary of our LGBTQ Center Symposium with a lecture by Gene Robinson (video below), the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church of America, who told us, “The toothpaste is not returning to the tube.” Black History Month, highlighting the theme of African American progress in the 21st century, was punctuated by a visit from Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., the CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, who spoke eloquently on Economic Development, Law, and Education. At the very end of February, our Office of Community, Equity, and Diversity presented its first-ever “Inclusion Project,” entitled Voices Carry: Embody the Change, which provided training for the entire URI community on cultural competencies, the challenges and opportunities facing all of us, and ways we can continue to evolve into a University that is welcoming, inclusive, and affirming of differences.
These events offer snapshots of how we are building a just and equitable community at URI. They are the kind of occasions that help define a university, its influence, and its impact.
Influence and impact are also expressed through our role as the state’s only public research institution and a major driver of economic growth. This year, the governor has included in his budget proposal a $125 million bond for a new engineering building and renovations to Kirk Center for Advanced Technology. With more than 1,200 engineering undergraduates and 200 to 250 graduate students, and some of our most successful graduates (see page 14 for a profile of Jim Clappin ’80, head of Corning Glass’s largest division), engineering is one of URI’s academic and entrepreneurial powerhouses.
Our College of Business Administration, celebrating its 90th anniversary, is another center of growth and innovation. I hope you will enjoy reading about COBA’s rich history, the exciting new paths that have been forged under the leadership of Dean Mark Higgins, and alumni partnerships that have created amazing opportunities for students like Andrea Osorio ’14 (see Diversity: A Win-Win for Students and Enterprise).
Seizing opportunity is another theme you will see woven through this issue of QuadAngles. Whether through study abroad, starting their own nonprofit organizations, revolutionizing the cleaning products industry, or manufacturing environmentally responsible kids’ clothing, members of the worldwide URI community are stretching their creative and entrepreneurial muscles while pursuing their passions. What is a better measure of educational quality than that?
Wishing you an opportunity-filled spring season.
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