The University of Rhode Island (URI) was founded in 1888 as the Rhode Island State Agricultural School. The school was located on the Oliver Watson Farm in Kingston, Rhode Island. The first class had only 17 students, and the curriculum focused on agriculture and mechanics.
In 1892, the school was renamed the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (RICA&M). The school’s name was changed to reflect its growing academic offerings, which now included programs in engineering, business, and education.
In 1909, the name of the school was changed again, this time to Rhode Island State College. The name change reflected the school’s increasing status as a comprehensive university.
In 1951, URI was granted university status. The university’s name was changed to the University of Rhode Island.
Since its founding, URI has grown into a major research university with over 18,000 students. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, and it is home to a number of nationally ranked academic departments.
URI is also a major economic engine for the state of Rhode Island. The university employs over 7,000 people, and it generates over $1 billion in economic activity each year.
URI is a diverse and vibrant university community. The student body is made up of students from all over the world, and the faculty is composed of leading scholars in their respective fields. URI is a place where students can learn, grow, and make a difference in the world.
Here are some of the highlights of URI’s history:
- 1888: Rhode Island State Agricultural School is founded.
- 1892: School renamed Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
- 1909: School renamed Rhode Island State College.
- 1951: School granted university status and renamed University of Rhode Island.
- 1969: URI opens its first medical school.
- 1972: URI opens its first graduate school of business.
- 1985: URI opens its first law school.
- 2007: URI opens its first graduate school of education.
URI is a proud member of the Association of American Universities, a group of 65 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. URI is also a member of the Big East Conference, a major NCAA athletic conference.