KINGSTON, R.I.—Oct. 31, 2023—The University of Rhode Island is launching a major fundraising initiative to enhance athletics facilities and advance championship-caliber programs at the state’s flagship university. The multi-year effort aims to raise $20 million in philanthropic contributions.
The initiative will fund significant upgrades to several facilities, which will transform the student-athlete experience, offer enhanced fan experiences, and enable expanded community access. Private gifts will pair with $65.8 million in Rhode Island Capital Plan funding included in the 2024 state budget by Gov. Dan McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly.
“We are stepping up to support our student-athletes in a significant way by investing in championship-caliber people and facilities,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “We are grateful to Gov. McKee, House Speaker Shekarchi, Senate President Ruggerio, and all our elected leaders for their support. Our student-athletes work tirelessly. They represent our University and our state on a national stage. And they are a huge source of pride— not just for URI, but for all of Rhode Island.”
The effort will initially target longstanding issues with Meade Stadium, Tootell Aquatic Center, the outdoor track and field facilities, the baseball and softball fields, and the soccer complex.
“Our student-athletes work incredibly hard to meet their academic and athletic goals and to represent URI,” said Thorr Bjorn, director of athletics. “We need facilities that stand out among our peers to give every student-athlete the best chance to succeed and to allow our coaches to recruit top talent to URI. I know the passion is there from our alumni, fans, and friends—we now have a unique chance to work together to make big things happen.”
The broad fundraising initiative will help spur URI’s competitive success in intercollegiate athletics. Facilities improvements also will expand recreational opportunities for all URI students, through increased space and time for club and intramural teams and students.
Community members and organizations also will benefit from improved recreational facilities at the University. URI is a proud host of the Special Olympics state games. Those teams and athletes will be better served through improved facilities, and enhancements also will enable the University to host high school competitions and other statewide events.
To learn more about contributions to URI Athletics, contact Associate Athletic Director for Development Garrett Waller at 401-874-5287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.