Carl Woodward became president of Rhode Island State College in 1941, one month before Peal Harbor was attacked. In 1942, the College instituted a summer term as well as an accelerated instruction program (discontinued in 1944) to advance students more rapidly through their class work. An Army Specialized Training Unit was assigned to the College to augment the Military Science program, allowing participants to graduate in three instead of four years. As a result of these changes, 13 separate commencements were held between in 1943 and 1948. After the war, a large number of returning veterans took advantage of the G.I. Bill greatly, which greatly expanded the College’s enrollment. With a passion for the liberal arts, Woodward oversaw the advancement of the college to university status in 1951; acknowledged in the new name of the college—the University of Rhode Island.
The principal objectives of college are, first, to learn to live, and second, to learn to make a living…Here you have a combination of cultural and professional preparation. Here you have a reconciliation of the extreme liberal objective on one hand and the extreme technical objective on the other. Here is a merging of these dual objectives, properly balanced against each other, providing a middle ground intended best to fit our graduates for success.
Carl R. Woodward