University of Rhode Island-Facts about fall 1999

KINGSTON, R.I. — September 2, 1999 — Here’s how many students are heading for the University of Rhode Island this fall and a few of the things that await them on the Kingston Campus-from a special Convocation ’99 ceremony and various “first night” activities for students to a special honors colloquium series and a full complement of improvements in information technology access. About the Students · About 2,200 freshman students will enroll at the University this fall, continuing the record set last year as the largest class since 1990. Of those, approximately 51 percent are from Rhode Island. · Nine Valedictorians, and 28 students who ranked second or third in their Rhode Island high school graduating classes are part of this year’s freshman class. · Average SAT scores of the incoming class are six points higher this year than last. In-state SAT scores are ten points higher. · About 23 percent of the students in the freshman class (about 492 students) will receive the University’s Centennial Scholarships. About 53 percent of the Centennial Scholars are from Rhode Island. · All together, there will be approximately 10,700 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students at URI this year. · Overall, applications to the University increased ten percent this year over last. Freshman applications increased ten percent and transfer applications increased 9 percent. · Honors Program popular option with students. The Honors Program, which is located in Lippitt Hall, has grown dramatically in both its number of students, which will approach 400 this semester, and the number of courses offered, now more than 25. The URI Honors Program began in the 1960’s and has continued to offer opportunities for students to explore different topics in new and challenging ways. Early Fall Event Highlights · Convocation ’99. This year the University will hold a special Freshman Convocation geared toward first-year students on Sunday evening, Sept. 5, and a general, university-wide Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. · Meet the University Days. Meet the University Days include tours of the campus and the colleges, as well as the chance to talk with teachers, deans, and students from every major. Representatives from admissions, financial aid, and academic advising will also be available to answer your questions. The following dates are available in 1999: October 15, 16, November 12, 13. Call the Undergraduate Admissions Office for information about 2000 dates, 401-874-7100. · “Same Planet–Different World.” A series of events begins for students immediately following Convocation, and continues throughout the year. In September alone, events include such things as a Beach Party on the Quad, Ram Tours to the Boston Red Ox and a Whale Watch, performances by magician Scott Jamison and local bands, and the Rolling Stone magazine tour. · Classes Begin on Wednesday, Sept. 8 · Honors Colloquium, “The Legacies of the Vietnam War,” begins on Sept. 15 with a semester-long exploration of the various impacts, from social and artistic to cultural and political, the war had on America and the world. This year’s list of speakers includes Patricia Schroeder, a former twelve-term Congresswoman and first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee and Adrian Cronauer, a Vietnam veteran who sold the story of his experiences to Touchstone Pictures for the major motion picture Good Morning, Vietnam. Also part of the colloquium are performances of John DiFusco’s play Tracers and an exhibition featuring photographs and text by veterans. · Homecoming festivities begin on Thursday, October 21 with the selection of a Homecoming King and Queen, live bands, bonfire, food, and a banner contest. The homecoming game begins at noon on Saturday, October 23 when the Rams take on the University of Maine. Student Services · One-stop shopping for student services. Beginning this year, students will no longer have to make multiple stops to access basic services. The URI Gateway Project has combined the Registrar, Bursar, and Financial Aid offices into one unit called Enrollment Services, forming a cross-trained, cross-functional Enrollment Services Team. In August, both the Registrar and Bursar’s offices joined Financial aid in Roosevelt Hall to provide the one-stop-shopping location for students. Eventually, all will be located in Green Hall once renovations there are completed. · More student-centered Hours: In addition to the one-stop shopping environment, Enrollment Services has taken a cue from bankers and changed their hours to better accommodate their clientele. The entire operation — Registrar, Bursar, and Financial Aid — will now be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. During the first week of the semester, the hours are extended further with the office open Tuesday, Sept. 7, 10 am to 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 8-9, 8:30-6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 10, 8:30-4 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 13, 9-6 p.m. Campus Living · About 3,850 students, including approximately 2,000 freshmen, will live in the 19 URI residence Halls. The residence halls are at full capacity. Students will begin moving in on Sunday, Sept. 5. · About 10 percent of undergraduate students live in fraternities or sororities, and about 53 percent commute from home or nearby communities. · Themed housing is still popular. The Honors and Academic Leadership Hall at Merrow South is full; the Wellness Residence Hall in Tucker is full. · Renovations. The University is now preparing for major renovations of Barlow Hall to begin January 2000 and be completed by Fall 2000. Weldin Hall will be renovated during the Summer 2000 and will be completed January 2001. These renovations are the first phase of a proposed $60 million, 14-bldg renovation plan to be completed over seven years. The project will start with $17 million in previously approved revenue bond funds. State assistance is being sought for the remaining $43 million needed. The first phase of renovation will be called the “Freshman Village.” Construction on Campus · Steam Plant Replacement Heating Up. The five-year project to replace the University’s 48-year-old central steam plant and upgrade the distribution system serving the Kingston Campus has entered a new phase. Beginning in September 1999, all of the steam heat provided to the Kingston Campus will be supplied by the new plant. Through a public/private partnership, ERI Services of Hartford, Ct., and Pittsburgh, Pa., has invested over $12 million to design, permit, build, own, and operate the central steam plant. The University will purchase steam under a 20-year contract through its annual utility operating budget. The contract will allow the University to take ownership of the facility after 20 years. Related steam line distribution work will continue through the month September. · Coastal Institute Kingston Campus: The second part of the University of Rhode Island’s three-part effort to enhance its global influence in marine and environmental research is underway with the construction of the new Coastal Institute building on the Kingston Campus. The new 50,000 square-foot, three-story building is being built on Greenhouse Road, behind the Biological Sciences Center. The new facility will provide office and laboratory facilities devoted to research, service, and instruction regarding marine and environmental issues. The facility will also feature a state-of-the-art environmental policy simulation laboratory. The project is expected to be completed for occupancy Fall 2000. · Convocation Center. Progress continues to be made with plans for the new URI Convocation Center. · Social Science Center Expansion. Home to the University’s internationally known Cancer Prevention Research Center headed by Dr. James Prochaska, the 10,000 square-foot single-floor office building is not able to accommodate the growing space needs of this tremendously successful research center. The addition will involve a two-story module being added to the existing building, in keeping with the same architectural design features. The addition will provide 10,000 square feet of office, computer, meeting, and work space. Occupancy is expected by Spring 2000. · Other Projects on the horizon: Planning and design work continues for major renovations of Ballentine, Green and Ranger Halls, as well as Lippitt and Independence. x-x-x For More Information: Linda Acciardo, (401) 874-2116, Jhodi Redlich, (401) 874-2116, Dave Lavallee, (401) 874-2116.