Fun-filled URI Alumni Association Big Chill Weekend to boost scholarship funds

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 22, 2009 – This is the season of giving. That being the case, University of Rhode Island alumni and friends can have a fun-filled weekend while at the same time helping current and future students.

The URI Alumni Association’s Big Chill Weekend is set for the weekend of Jan. 29 through 31. The goal is to raise more than $100,000 for the University’s scholarship fund. Senior Sarah Pritchard was able to stay at URI and work toward her degree in Human Development and Family Studies as a direct result of the scholarship she earned.

“It has truly been a gift for me to receive this scholarship the past few years,” said Pritchard, who is from Fairfield, Conn. “Receiving the Alumni Scholarship made it possible for me to attend URI because it alleviates some of my school tuition.

“The first year I received this scholarship was the year my father got sick and we were not sure if I could afford to stay at URI, but this scholarship made enough of a difference that I could stay. I have been so incredibly happy at this University. I am so thankful to the alumni for making this scholarship possible.”

Big Chill Weekend is all about scholarships, but it’s also a good time. Whether it’s a night of music and dancing at the Coast Guard House in Narragansett, a Saturday basketball doubleheader on campus at the Ryan Center or a Sunday brunch at Hope Commons coupled with a campus tour, there are a variety of activities for everyone. The signature fund-raising event of the weekend is the Big Chill Scholarship Evening and Auction in Newport.

“This is an opportunity for alumni to come back to campus and reconnect with friends, as well as with the University,” said Gina Simonelli, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “We continue to grow as a University, and our alumni are a major part of that. By staying connected with URI, they have a profound impact on the future of the University.”

Read an earlier news release about the Big Chill Weekend with comments by Honorary chair, John Palumbo (’76), the president and publisher of Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.

For more information on Big Chill Weekend, contact Simonelli at 401.874.5808 or gsimonelli There is also more information at