URI’s Alumni Association’s Big Chill Weekend set for Jan. 29 through 31

It’s all about scholarships

KINGSTON, R.I. – Dec. 2, 2009 – The holiday season is about getting together with friends and family. It’s also a time for giving, and the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association’s Big Chill Weekend combines all those elements.

With three days of events, alumni and friends of the University have a full slate of activities from which to choose. 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 event of the weekend is the Big Chill Scholarship Evening and Auction in Newport, where the goal is to raise $100,000 in scholarship funds.

While the weekend presents a chance to come back to campus and meet with old friends, it also provides an opportunity to give back for future students at the University. The Big Chill Weekend is one of the University’s biggest scholarship fundraiser of the year, and this year it’s all about scholarships.

Honorary chairs John and Gail Palumbo are known throughout Rhode Island for their charity work, and this year they are putting their support behind Big Chill Weekend. The president and publisher of Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, John Palumbo (’76) is a proud alum with a deep understanding of the importance of scholarships.

“I went to the University not really knowing what it was going to cost me, because I funded my education myself,” Palumbo said. “I came from a very blue-collar family. Both my parents left high school when they were 16, not because they couldn’t finish high school, but because that was the requirement. The value of an education is very important to me. If it weren’t for Pell Grants and financing my education myself, I never would have been able to go to URI.”

In addition to helping the University’s scholarship fund, Palumbo also stressed the value of getting together with friends and family.

“Over the past couple years, I have been very involved in my business, which I recently bought. So I haven’t been able to get back to the University as much as I would like,” Palumbo said. “This was an opportunity to immerse myself back into URI. This being Rhode Island, I run into URI graduates and classmates all the time, and I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new connections during a fun weekend.”

For more information on Big Chill Weekend, contact Gina Simonelli, assistant director of Alumni Relations, at 401.874.5808 or gsimonelli @advance.uri.edu. There is also more information at http://www.uri.edu/bigchill.

Below is a listing of the events slated for Big Chill Weekend:

Friday, January 29

• Brew Tasting at the Coast Guard House, Narragansett

• Signature Beverage Sampling at Trio Restaurant, Narragansett

• DJ & Dancing at the Coast Guard House Anchor Room, Narragansett

Saturday, January 30

• Basketball Doubleheader at the Ryan Center, Kingston 

• Big Chill Scholarship Evening & Auction, Newport

➢ Blue Tie Wine Pairing at Rosecliff

➢ A True Blue Affair

➢ Blue & White Bash

Sunday, January 31

• Brunch at Mainfare Dining Hall, Hope Commons, Kingston

• Campus Tour, Kingston

Pictured above

John Palumbo ‘76, president and publisher of Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, and his wife Gail are serving as honorary chairs of the 2010 University of Rhode Island Alumni Association’s Big Chill Weekend. Photo by Nora Lewis