Rameses I, donated by the class of 1958, is the honored mascot of URI. More commonly known as Rhody the Ram, the sculpture is located in front of the Memorial Union. Students, alumni and university officials are often asked how the “ram” became the school’s mascot. In the early days of the university, the athletic teams were known as the “farmers.” Occasionally, newspapers would create their own nicknames for the school, such as “the Rhode Island Reds” and “the clam diggers.” The student body never adopted the names. In 1929, a Providence Journal reporter referred to one URI athletic team as the “Battering Rams.” The name stuck and Rameses I became the mascot.
At the dedication ceremony of Rhody the Ram, Dean of Men John Quinn, playfully told the audience “that the department of Alchemy, Astrology, and Mythology had, after careful study and meditations, reported that if the nose of the Rameses I is stroked lightly in a counter-clockwise motion with the index finger of the left hand, victory for our athletic team is sure to result.”
Rameses I, hand-carved from Italian Istrian granite, sits on Westerly red stone granite.