Kimball Foundation establishes scholarship for URI Honors Program

KINGSTON, R.I. —April 2, 2024—The Horace A. and S. Ella Kimball Foundation recently made a $100,000 gift to the University of Rhode Island to establish the Thomas F. Black Jr. Scholarship to support a junior in the URI Honors Program who takes an interest in the nonprofit sector. The student must be a Rhode Island resident with financial need. The scholarship may be renewed for a second year.

“The Honors Program attracts students from all academic areas to take dynamic, interdisciplinary courses in pursuit of intellectual excellence,” said Karen de Bruin, director of the program. “These students have boundless potential, but their career choices can be limited by college debt. This scholarship alleviates part of that burden and encourages them to apply their talents to address the challenges facing our world today.”

The Kimball Foundation has worked with hundreds of local nonprofit organizations for almost 75 years, seeing firsthand the value and importance of strong leadership and aims to encourage future generations to contribute their talents to the nonprofit sector. Founding Chairman Thomas F. Black Jr. was extremely generous with his time and his talents in support of local organizations, and Thomas F. Black III ’62 has continued that leadership for decades. The gift is a fitting memorial to the Black family’s leadership of the Kimball Foundation.

The Rhode Island-based Kimball Foundation, which was officially established in 1956, makes grants almost exclusively to nonprofit organizations in the state or those benefiting Rhode Island residents and causes. The Foundation supports causes including homeless shelters, food insecurity, senior centers, environmental concerns, health centers, and volunteer fire and ambulance corps, with a focus on South County.

The URI Honors Program was established in 1969, making it one of the earliest such programs in the nation. It encourages students to be creative problem solvers and change-makers through its unique interdisciplinary learning options, including undergraduate research opportunities with a faculty mentor. The program hosts the annual Honors Colloquium and assists students in applying for prestigious fellowships and advanced degrees.