2017 marks URI’s quasquicentennial: the 125th anniversary of our founding in 1892. Consider what a remarkable 125 years it has been. Since we were established as a land-grant institution by the Morrill Act of 1862, we’ve branched out considerably from our agricultural beginnings. Our Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Business, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Environment and Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Education, and our Graduate School of Oceanography, have all become signature centers of scholarship and research.
In more recent history, our Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, and the new Academic Health Collaborative have furthered our reputation as a premier public research institution. Our annual honors colloquium focuses on a universal topic of interest and attracts standing-room-only crowds, as do our superb theatrical productions. Our programs in diversity and inclusion serve as national models, and we were the first American university to build a freestanding Gender and Sexuality Center. Our size and location are tremendous assets. We can think big and execute nimbly.
As a community, we can be proud of all we have achieved in just over a century.
But even as we celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni, students, and faculty, and reflect on our rich history and traditions, we will also look at where we are heading for the next 125 years—and beyond. Our goal is to foster a broader and deeper understanding throughout the state and the region of our unique qualities and many advantages. We’re excited to share our plans for even greater impact locally, nationally, and globally, as an academic powerhouse, an engine of economic development and a center of civic engagement.
As a public institution we have made a deliberate decision to keep the celebration public. We plan to involve and engage current and prospective students, alumni, generous donors, faculty and staff, industry partners, global partners, community partners, government leaders, and friends of the University near and far.
The University of Rhode Island has served the ideals of public education, diversity, and innovation for more than a century. We can’t wait to take all that we have learned as an institution and leap into the next 125 years, always thinking big. Join us on the journey.
David M. Dooley
President, University of Rhode Island