When Rose Butler Browne was a student, she was known for her optimism and determination. Her quote in the 1920 edition of The Grist says it all: “I hate trig, that is why I want to stick it out.” She did, and in 1921 she received a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island State College, now the University of Rhode Island, becoming the first African-American woman to do so.
Opened in 1928, Edwards Hall was built with the same rough squared ashlar granite as the earlier buildings on the Quadrangle.
Mark Plugovoy ’17, a Biomedical Engineering major from Lincoln, Rhode Island, captured a remarkable photo during the Light up the Quad event in front of Davis Hall.
It’s only fitting that the University launched its 125th anniversary on the Quad, kicking off off a yearlong celebration of the University’s founding in 1892.
The Providence Journal: The University of Rhode Island began a year of 125th-anniversary celebrations in grand style Wednesday afternoon on a blustery Kingston Quad, with lightings of campfires, hayrides, a faux birthday cake taller than two people, and remarks by Council on Postsecondary Education chair Bill Foulkes, president David M. Dooley and others.
College Hall, now Davis Hall, is perhaps the most recognizable building on the Quadrangle because of its castle-like appearance. Built in 1895 to replace the original 1891 College Hall, which was leveled to the ground within an hour by a raging fire in 1895. Fortunately no one was hurt as the building’s occupants were attending church in the village at the time.
What is now the University of Rhode Island was founded by a Kingston shopkeeper and part-time postmaster who overcame tremendous odds and political opposition to realize his dream. His name was Bernon Elijah Helme. Nowhere on the campus is there a single plaque or structure to carry his name, and few alumni are familiar with his efforts. He is a forgotten man.