New funds give URI students both ‘hope and heritage’

KINGSTON, R.I. — January 21, 1999 — Richard III was willing to trade his kingdom for a horse in order to travel. In the past, top flight URI students and faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences, while not facing the same sense of urgency, have had to reign in their hopes of showcasing their expertise beyond Rhode Island due to financial constraints. That has all changed thanks to URI’s new Hope and Heritage funds that fund travel and other related expenses for students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences who have been invited to perform, present their research, or exhibit their work nationally or internationally. The funds—The Hope and Heritage Operating Fund, which provides immediate assistance, and The Hope and Heritage Endowed Fund, which is perpetual—were established this year, the College of Arts and Sciences’ 50th anniversary. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1 million in five years. “We have a number of award-winning students and faculty whose work is being recognized around the world. Many of them need our assistance to cover the necessary travel costs,” said Interim College of Arts and Sciences Dean Winifred Brownell. “The funds provide vitally needed investments in academic and professional development that will reap impressive returns for the University for years to come.” Three URI graduates provided the first major gifts to the funds. “When Winnie mentioned the Hope and Heritage funds, I immediately agreed to make a donation. I could identify with the need in my own family,” said Cumberland resident Richard Beaupre ‘62, one of the donors who is president of ChemArt in Lincoln. “My stepdaughter is earning her Ph.D. out west and has had the opportunity to present her work at numerous conferences. Her college had nobudget to pay her costs. Fortunately, I was able to step in.” The need for the funds also resonated with Shannon Chandley ‘83, who sits with Beaupre on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the College of Arts and Sciences, and her husband, Tom Silvia ‘83 of Millis, Mass. “I wouldn’t want creative students missing opportunities due to a relatively small amount of money,” Chandley says of the couple’s decision to donate to the fund. “We’re happy to give back to the University. It has served us so well. We just hope the recipients of the Hope and Heritage funds will remember URI sometime in the future.” Other generous gifts came from URI History Professor Emeritus Daniel Thomas and English Professor Emerita Nancy Potter. Here’s how some recent awards from the funds have helped: • URI Debate Team, which had qualified to compete, was able to participate in a national tournament. • Students in the big band jazz ensemble were able perform at the Lincoln Center. • Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Emily Bell and Communications Studies Assistant Professor Geoffrey Leatham could present their work at international conferences in Scotland and Israel, respectively. • Leo Carroll, chair and professor of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, was able to present his recent work at a conference that featured his recent book Lawful Order: A Case Study of Correctional Crisis and Reform. • Students Danielle Hill and Darran Simon could present their research paper at a behavioral science conference. The students won the Theophilus E. McKinney Award for Undergraduate Research. The funds got their name from a collaboration between College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council member Robbin Chaber ‘80 and from Potter. The name combines the state motto “hope” to provide hope to young scholars, and the “heritage” of academic excellence. In addition to donors, a Hope and Heritage fundraiser was held in December in conjunction with the URI Theatre production of The Wiz, at which more than $4,000 was raised. Anyone who would like more information about the fund should contact Dr. Thomas Zorabedian, assistant director of development who works with the College of Arts and Sciences, at 401-874-2853.