URI’s Feinstein College of Continuing Education to induct 3 into its Hall of Honor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — April 6, 2000 — The University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein College of Continuing Education will induct two alumnae and one former dean into its Hall of Honor on April 13. Anyone who would like an invitation to the induction should call 277-5162. One recipient is Constance Williams, class of ’89, of West Warwick and Prudence Island: When it comes to any task, Constance “Connie” Williams simply rolls up her sleeves and gets things done. As a student concentrating in women’s studies and communications during the 1980s, Williams was also a peer counselor and coordinated special events at the college. She also helped found CCE’s chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and served as its president. Graduating in 1989, Williams became active on the University’s Alumni Executive board and the CCE Alumni board. Passionate about women’s issues, Williams served as executive director of Rhode Island Working Women from 1989 to 1992 while earning a master’s degree from Goddard College. She is a member and past commissioner of the Permanent Advisory Commission on Women, a past president of Rhode Island Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and sits on the policy committee of the Rhode Island Women’s Political Caucus. Williams’ loyalty for her alma mater remains strong. In recent years, she has sat on both sides of the classroom desk. She taught courses from 1992 to 1996 and was among the first graduating class of the college’s Academy of Learning, Teaching, and Enlightenment in Retirement (ALTER) program. Another recipient is Dr. Mary Braga ’86 ’91, and ’95 of Warwick: At 87, Mary Braga could be the poster “child” for lifelong learning. She entered college when she was 69, just as she was retiring from her job as fiscal-budget officer in the Workmen’s Compensation Division in the state’s Department of Labor. Braga not only earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from URI, when she walked across the stage in 1995; she became the oldest person to earn a doctorate from the University. That same year, she established a scholarship for a female student of Portuguese descent at the University. Soon after Braga took courses at Brown University in her native Portuguese and visited the Azores where she was born 87 years ago. Braga was among the first students to earn a certificate of achievement at URI for completing the ALTER Elder Teacher requirement. Not content with traveling and volunteering, Braga is considering going back to school. This time, she’s thinking about entering the master’s program in history at URI. The third recipient is Dr. George Dillavou of Providence George Dillavou served as CCE’s third dean from 1971 through 1979. As a national leader in adult post-secondary education, Dillavou recognized early in his career the need to provide older learners the ability to incorporate their lives’ experiences in their formal education. Upon his arrival at CCE, he launched a full-fledged campaign to institute the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree, which combines academic work, the College Level Examination Program for prior learning and individually tailored projects at the senior level. During his tenure, Dillavou strengthened the College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences degrees as well as made degrees available through the College of Engineering. He encouraged training and development courses in non-credit and credit areas, both on-site and around the state. Enrollments were at a record high. After serving as dean, Dillavou happily returned to teaching Speech Communications at CCE until his retirement in 1987. -xxx- For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116