New scholarship for Rhode Islanders established at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 31, 2000 — The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island will award the first Paul H. Conway Memorial Scholarship this year. The scholarship, which will provide $2,000 toward the 2000-2001 tuition costs for an in-state student, was established thanks to generous contributions by two 1983 alumni, Tom Silvia and his wife, Shannon Chandley of Millis, Mass. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 14, 2000. In establishing the scholarship, the couple thought back to their days at URI. Residence halls are places where lasting friendships are often formed. That was definitely true at URI’s Heathman Hall, according to Shannon Chandley. That’s where she and Tom met Paul whose family lived in Maine when he was a child and moved to Coventry, R.I. when he was in junior high. He graduated from Coventry High School. “We were a close group of friends,” recalls Shannon. “We lived on 3-E if I remember.” Paul was a resident adviser in Heathman for all four years, graduating in 1984. He loved the Red Sox and contemporary rock & roll music. He graduated from URI in 1984. The Heathman “gang” kept in touch, getting together weekends, planning get-togethers. Paul first went to work for a pharmacy chain and then a beverage company. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1989 and underwent an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant. He died in 1990. “The reason why we set up this scholarship in Paul’s name is that Paul was a very faithful friend,” said Tom Silvia. “We spent many hours together in Heathman Hall ‘hanging out.’ He was always upbeat and had a positive view on life. He donated his time and assets to several organizations, and was a very dependable person. Whenever you needed help or a favor, Paul was there. Also, I am sure that he would have been a committed alumnus. He was very proud of his time at URI.” Applications for the scholarship are available in the dean’s office, College of Arts and Sciences, 257 Chafee Social Science Center. Applicants should be Rhode Island residents who are majoring in any undergraduate degree program offered by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Applicants should be full-time students in good academic standing, and should be in their sophomore or junior years. Students who may have had a challenging first semester, but who have improved their academic performance in subsequent semesters are encouraged to apply. All applicants should provide the name of a faculty member or other URI official who can act as a character reference. Students are asked to submit a one-page essay on “the value of a liberal arts education.” The three finalists will be invited to an interview prior to selection. The award recipient will be announced in May. Students can contact Dawne Strickland at 874-4101 ( for information. -xxx- For More Information: Thomas Zorabedian, 401-874-2853, Dean Winifred Brownell, 401-874-4101, Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116.