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Fall 2010

1937 Alum “Hac” Anderson Remembers URI $770,000 B equest


See page 5

P rovide V ital S tudent S cholarships

Herman Augustus Carl “Hac” Anderson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University in 1937. He won other accolades besides. The 300-plus students who composed the Class of 1937 bestowed on Anderson six of 22 superlatives that year: “Smoothest,” “Most Thoroughly Gentleman,” “Most Versatile,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Biggest Politician” and the coveted “[Having] Biggest Drag with Faculty.” The favorite son of the Class of 1937 held his alma mater in equally high esteem. In his will, Anderson, who died in 2000, stipulated that, after the passing of his last trust beneficiary, the entirety of his estate—nearly $770,000— be used by the University in the establishment of the Anderson Memorial Scholarship. The

Marine Biology Student Megan Nepshinsky C onducting R esearch

Volume 3, Issue 1


N ew Z ealand , F iji

Recipient of the Salt Ponds Coalition: Abby Aukerman Scholarship Looks Forward to a Career in Environmental Research Marine biology is her passion and Megan Nepshinsky ’12 is maximizing every opportunity available to help her one day become a researcher in this important field that is so near to her heart. As the recipient of the Abby Aukerman Scholarship, awarded to a student studying within URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS), Nepshinsky knows full well the important role charitable support plays in her education. “My parents are divorced, and my mother works very hard. The scholarship support I receive plays a huge role in taking the financial

and beyond

gift, given jointly by Anderson and his late wife, Virginia McBride Anderson, is in memory of their late son, David McBride Anderson, was received by the University recently. An examination of Anderson’s activities at URI—as evidenced in the 1937 yearbook, The Grist—shows him to have been a man of varied interests. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, the varsity debate team known as the Wranglers, the Chemistry Society and the Glee Club, among others. Anderson held several leadership positions: class treasurer, editorin-chief of The Grist and Student Fellowship president. After graduating, Anderson relocated from Newport, R.I., to Michigan for a successful Story continued on page 7

Also in This Issue: Campaign 2 Donors Making a Difference......... page 3 Newly Created 4 Fellowship Recipient Michael 5 Business 6 Spotlight on Dean Winnie Brownell 7 Davis Foundation Grant to 8

Story continued on page 4 visit us on the web

Message from the President

Campus is once again, abuzz with that special vibrancy that only the start of a new academic year can bring. It is a seasonal right of passage that is often more impacting than the seasons themselves for those of us who make their living in higher education.

That sense of vigor and optimism shared by the faculty; staff and most dramatically students, is also evident amongst our donors in the fall, who typically demonstrate a heightened focus and participation in charitable activity during the last quarter of the calendar year. And the residuals of philanthropic support from our alumni and friends at URI have had a dramatic effect on the academic experience enjoyed this year by the 3,000 newly enrolled freshmen and their 10,000 upperclassman counterparts. With wide and varied needs such as academic enrichment programs, international study opportunities, research projects, upgrades to our facilities on campus, and student scholarships, this support often makes the margin of difference for students choosing to enroll here.

Glen R. Kerkian

Those who like to measure the impact in spendable ways will be pleased to know the combined endowment investment proceeds and cash gifts in the fiscal year ending June 30th totaled over $17 million-- all of which was derived from donor contributions. Though many of our benefactors fund endowments which become a long-term source of support, others prefer to designate their charitable gifts to initiatives and causes where the impact is immediate and dramatic. The combined impact of both sources of support is significant at URI. I invite you to read about the historical status of the University’s Making a Difference capital campaign, which is moving full-steam ahead until its December 31st sunset, and about some of our exceptional student scholarship recipients and donors, profiled in this edition of Rhode Ways. To all our donors, we say “thank you.” Every decision you make to give makes a certain and invaluable impact on our fine University. Sincerely Yours,

Glen R. Kerkian

Campaign Update: Charitable Support Continues at an Impressive Pace thousands of alumni donors and friends who have demonstrated remarkable generosity and a deep commitment to their alma mater. “While other schools in these economically challenging times have faced serious setbacks in fundraising, URI has supporters who have stepped up and elevated the last two years to record-setting levels,” comments Kerkian, adding, “each gift from each supporter, including those from the 50th class reunions as well as newly graduated alumni, makes a difference and collectively propels URI to greater heights, increasing its competitiveness regionally, nationally and internationally.”

URI’s Making a Difference capital campaign, now entering its last quarter before formally ending December 31, 2010, has raised over $114 million as of October 1st, which exceeds the original $100 million goal. Included in this figure is over $17.2 million in cash donations received in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 – the largest (cash) amount received in any single year in URI’s history and a 27 percent increase from the previous year. With nearly three months to go, URI Foundation (URIF) President Glen Kerkian is confident that giving will continue at a steady pace and that the final tally will come within striking distance of $120 million. This additional $20 million in funds raised, over and above the original goal, will enhance many of the original campaign priorities—athletics program and Annual Fund support, building construction and facility improvements, and increased endowment support, which funds undergraduate and graduate student aid, among other things. The Campaign Leadership Committee, chaired by URI alumnus Tom Ryan ’75, and the URIF Executive Board, chaired by George Graboys Hon. ’99, on behalf of the entire campus community, extend their deep appreciation to the

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A Passion for Pharmacy William & Lois Vars Mason ‘62

When William and Lois Vars Mason ’62 married, the ice sculpture they chose for the occasion was neither interlocked hearts nor champagne flutes. Nothing so prosaic as lovebirds for this couple, though what the Masons chose was certainly a pairing. After all, what is a mortar without its pestle? The mortar and pestle, tools of the first pharmacists, reflected the pair’s intertwined family history and legacy: a passion for pharmacy. It was the Masons’ homage to their pharmacist fathers’ mission: to support, financially and otherwise, collegiate pharmaceutical studies. The Masons recently demonstrated their own commitment with a gift of $100,000 intended to support the construction of the new $75 million College of Pharmacy building at URI’s Kingston campus. Construction of the 148,000-squarefoot, five-story building, which began late last year, will result in more students being able to enroll in all of the University’s pharmacy programs, from undergraduate to doctorate programs. A 12-seat faculty conference room will be named for the Masons’ fathers, Clarence A. Vars and Earl H. Mason. Both men were instrumental not only in the establishment of a pharmacy program at the University, but also in the elevating of the study of pharmacy from an apprenticeship model to a field of academic study. Lois, former assistant dean of the College of Pharmacy, recalls her father and Earl Mason as being entrepreneurs and visionaries who sought to share their dream with others; they left an indelible impression. “My father’s life was pharmacy,” Lois notes. “I remember, I was 12, waking up one night and dad had just come in from Providence after attending a College of Pharmacy board meeting. [I heard] him talk about the need for money, and I realized you had to give back to institutions. It was something you had to budget for,” Lois says. “[Our giving] is consistent with a long-standing tradition of giving to universities and organizations,” Bill adds. Giving, to the Masons, means not only gifts of money, but also time. Both have long histories of volunteerism. That, too, they say, is the legacy of their fathers. College of Pharmacy Dean Ron Jordan calls the Masons instrumental in the construction of the new pharmacy building. “They provided a significant amount of funds that actually kicked off the pharmacy building project,” he says. The Masons seem intent, though, on crediting their respective fathers. “They were so passionate. They had a commitment to pharmacy. Both were so wrapped up in the Pharmacy College and pharmacy as a profession,” Lois says. “We just are so excited to be part of this.”

Ballard and Austin Pledge Gift in Hopes of Leveraging Additional Support for GSO

World Renowned Oceanographic Researchers Aim to Enhance Graduate Fellowship Support A combined gift commitment of $100,000 by Dr. Robert D. “Bob” Ballard and Dr. James A. “Jamie” Austin Jr. will hopefully spur other donors to commit an additional $300,000 to support a fellowship endowment attached to the Center for Ocean Exploration and Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). Ballard and Austin are longtime friends, since their early days as young oceanographers at Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution. “I am very pleased to assist in the creation of a substantial fellowship endowment to support a graduate student at the Center in the field of geological oceanography,” says Ballard of the challenge that he and Austin have mounted. “My commitment is made in hopes that others will join Jamie and me in assuring that the Graduate School of Oceanography will continue to remain on the exciting forefront of discovery and knowledge about the oceans that cover 70 percent of our planet.” Page 3

Austin adds, “Like Bob, I want to challenge the other friends of GSO to support this fellowship. I hope and expect that this effort will be the first in a succession of initiatives geared to build a sizeable endowment for GSO. The GSO’s Inner Space Center (ISC) marks a wonderful enhancement to the excellence that the School already represents, and this graduate fellowship will help to make the potential of the ISC a reality.” Specifically, Ballard and Austin will match every donor contribution to this fund on a 3-to-1 basis. That is, for every three dollars in new donor gifts, one dollar from Ballard and Austin will be leveraged as a match, increasing the value of the new donor gift by approximately 33 percent. Glen R. Kerkian, president of the URI Foundation, explains, “Fellowships are always at a premium, and the work that Bob is conducting in underwater exploration has particular relevance to prospective students. That Bob and

Jamie have utilized their own resources to create this challenge is inspiring and a testament to their strong belief in graduate research.” Ballard, counted among the most accomplished and recognized deep-sea explorers in the world, is credited with the historic discovery of the sunken R.M.S. Titanic and has conducted more than 120 deep-sea expeditions using the very latest in exploration technology. Austin, senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, has studied geological strata in marine and lake environments, particularly those formed since the end of the last ice age beneath the continental shelf off the east coast of the United States. For more information, visit

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Fall 2010

Marine Biology Student Megan Nepshinsky continued from page 1

pressure off both of us. It also allows me to focus on my studies instead of focusing on work. I’ve had to work, and it can be a very difficult balancing act. I am very fortunate to have scholarship help,” says the junior from nearby West Kingston, who commutes to campus from home. Nepshinsky has truly embraced her academic experience at URI and has demonstrated a great deal of initiative and focus. She was recently awarded a Metcalf Fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation, which funded a trip to New Zealand and Fiji, where she took part in an environmental research project this past summer. She is also one of 100 students nationally and one of only three this year from URI who will receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship. This prestigious award will take Nepshinsky to an as yet undetermined NOAA facility in the United States, where she will take part in a valuable internship experience next summer. Looking ahead, Nepshinsky sees herself conducting environmental/marine research of some sort. “There is so much unexplored in this field. Technology now exists to go farther than ever before, and I am excited to be a part of it,” she says.

Alumni & Friends Create New Endowments to Support URI Students

New endowments are being created on a regular basis, thanks to donors who recognize the importance of establishing a long-term source of funding to support student scholarships and other worthy causes here at URI. These endowed funds are invested by the Foundation, with investment proceeds being distributed annually to donor-specified uses. The majority of the over 1,000 endowed funds support undergraduate and graduate students with direct scholarships, while others fund important programs and initiatives that help enhance the overall academic experience at URI.

The following is a sampling of newly created endowment funds over the past year: The Barbara L. Wilson Endowment for the College of Human Science and Services was recently created thanks to a generous $750,000 bequest from the estate of Barbara L. Wilson. Proceeds from the endowment will support students and faculty in health-related programs within the College and will include student scholarships and funding for professional development for both students and faculty. The Elsie B. Brown and Susan B. Smith Endowment will be used to support the URI Historic Textile and Costume Collection within the College of Human Science and Services and to provide scholarship support to a graduate student pursuing a degree in historic textiles and textile conservation. Elsie Brown, of Concord, N.H., is a 1937 graduate of URI; Susan Smith, of Villanova, Pa., graduated from URI in 1965. The Erato Haseotes Memorial Pre-Law Endowment was created to provide perpetual support to students in any major who have indicated a clear intent to attend law school. Funds will be available for undergraduate tuition scholarships, costs associated with visits/travel to prospective law schools, LSAT exam and prep-exam costs and related expenses. This endowment was funded by Anastasia Haseotes Marty ’60, of Princeton, N.J., to honor the memory of her late sister, Erato. Her gift was made in conjunction with her 50th class reunion. The 4W’s Endowment: The Williamson West Warwick Wizards Scholarship was created by West Warwick, R.I., residents Maribeth Q. and James A. Williamson Jr., to create scholarship opportunities for West Warwick High School graduates attending URI and majoring in any discipline within the College of Business Administration. The Williamsons, both 1983 graduates of URI, took advantage of the Verrecchia Challenge Grant, which matched their gift on a 1-to-1 basis, effectively doubling the impact of their support. The Richard Allen Yacino Pharmacy Endowment will support College of Pharmacy students who are in their fifth year, are Rhode Island residents and are in the top 20 percent of their class. Funded by Richard Allen Yacino ’62, of Cumberland, R.I., this endowment was enhanced by a 1-to-1 match via the Tom and Cathy Ryan Challenge Grant, created to increase the impact of gifts made by other donors to support pharmacy students. The Mary C. Petrella Memorial English Scholarship was recently created by Fall River, Mass., resident Ann T. Petrella, in honor of her late sister, Mary, who graduated from URI’s College of Human Science and Services in 1948. Proceeds of the endowment will fund scholarships for students majoring in English literature with demonstrated financial need.

Apart from her studies, Nepshinsky also finds time to participate as a member of the University’s women’s crew team, a Division I sport that involves many long hours of practice. She is also a member of Sigma Alpha, a professional sorority organization within CELS. “My future career relies on my education and opportunities I can take advantage of while I’m here. I am really blessed and grateful,” acknowledges Nepshinsky. Page 4

Essential 2 Jobs Essential 2 Employers Essential 2 Students

Essential 2 Rhode Island’s Economic Revitalization by moving scientific discoveries and innovations from URI’s research labs into the marketplace more rapidly, spurring job creation and economic development throughout the state. The new center will also be the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response.

Voting YES on Question 2 will approve $61 million for the construction of a new chemistry building at the University of Rhode Island and $17 million for the renovation and construction of an addition to the Art Center at Rhode Island College.

Essential 2 Jobs by creating more than 1,200 jobs in the construction trades, engineering, management, teaching, and research fields over the next five years. Essential 2 Employers looking to hire workers in the sciences, health care and other high-tech industries, preventing young, talented graduates from having to leave Rhode Island in search of jobs.

The new URI Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences.

Essential 2 Students by increasing laboratory and classroom space and addressing a critical bottleneck that has hampered growth in pharmacy, biotechnology, engineering and other related fields.

On November 2, vote YES on 2!

Mechanical Engineering Student Michael Godfrin Focused on “Lab-on-a-Chip” Research at URI

Recipient of the Gabron Family Graduate Engineering Fellowship Spends his Summer Furthering Research to Enhance Health Care Delivery Michael Godfrin enthusiastically describes his lab-on-a-chip research project at URI during the summer of 2010. The mechanical engineering graduate student says that the chip will be used in a point-of-care medical diagnostic device. “We’re working on fine-tuning the microchannels on the chip,” Godfrin explains. “What’s great about point-of-care diagnostics is the portability. It’s about the size of a shoebox. You can take a unit into a village in a Third World country that doesn’t have access to a lab, test a blood sample, and have results in about 30 minutes. The chips are disposable, and a new one is inserted for the next test.” Godfrin’s focus is on cardio-vascular applications. As an undergraduate in URI’s Mechanical Engineering Program (’08), Godfrin had a part-time opportunity in summer 2006 to help develop the process for making the microchannels. Then, through URI’s International Engineering Program, he spent the 2007-2008 academic year in Hanover, Germany, where he worked as a research and development engineer for a tire manufacturer. Godfrin returned to URI [ as a graduate student ] for the spring 2010 semester. He credits the Gabron Family Graduate Engineering Fellowship for making it possible for him to concentrate full time on his summer research. “I’m thankful for the fellowship. Without it, I would have needed a part-time job. Instead, I got to spend the entire work week in the lab.” The North Smithfield, R.I., native has secured a research assistantship for the upcoming academic year and will continue his project. Again, Godfrin is enrolled in the International Engineering Program and will spend his second year at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. Upon graduation, Godfrin will hold degrees from both universities. One of his professors is encouraging Godfrin to go for a doctorate. Godfrin is giving it strong consideration, but is also thinking about going to work in industry after earning his master’s degree. Regardless, this young man’s drive and intelligence promise a bright future in engineering wherever he goes. Page 5

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Fall 2010

Foundation Business Notes… ¥ The URI Foundation (URIF) honored four longtime outgoing board members who recorded

a combined 129 years of services to the Foundation’s Executive Board. Jim Leslie ’52, Mary Gray ’52, Manoog Heditsian ’47 and Blanche Murray ’41 were honored recently for their commitment to both the board and the University. All four were deeply involved and volunteered their time and knowledge on a wide variety of committees for many decades. “Each of these individuals has played a vital and truly historical role in the shaping of the Foundation, the creation of its policies, the impact it has made on the University and its evolution into the organization it is today,” notes URIF Chair George Graboys, Hon. ‘99. “Their combined service embodies the spirit of ‘giving back,’ and the University is better for it.”

¥ Graboys, along with URIF President Glen Kerkian, recently welcomed four new members to the Foundation’s Executive Board, including entrepreneur and philanthropist Lorne Adrain ’76, RI Department of Transportation administrator Phil Kydd ’81, former Graduate School left to right, Mary Gray, Blanche Murray, Manoog Heditsian of Oceanography Dean Dr. Margaret Leinen ’80 and investment executive Charles Wharton ’67. All four individuals, who are alumni of the University, will serve three-year terms. Kerkian says, “We are thrilled to have individuals of this caliber join our team. They are each leaders in their respective professional fields, and their insights and expertise will add tangible value to the collective resources of the University.” ¥ Over 200 alumni and friends turned out to support women’s athletics at the Grapes and Grain wine and beer tasting event hosted by Lynne Baker Dooley and sponsored by URI alumnus John Priore ’83 and his company, Priority Payment Systems. Held under a tent at the Foundation Building, the event featured URI President David Dooley, Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn and a number of women’s sports coaches from URI. Watch for a repeat of this event next year, and special thanks to all who made this unique fundraising event so successful! ¥ The URI Foundation’s Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations submitted a grant proposal on behalf of the University to the Davis Foundation, which recently awarded over $296,000 to URI. The funds, paid over three years, will support a plan to enhance academic quality through strategic investments in teaching and scholarship to promote interdisciplinary learning and discovery, meaningful global initiatives and multicultural learning. ¥ The annual URI Foundation Donor Recognition Brunch will be held this year on Saturday, November 6 at the Ryan Center. The invitation-only brunch, coupled with the URI home football game (URI v. Villanova), will feature President David Dooley as well as a student scholarship recipient and faculty member and a spirited performance by the URI Marching Band. Invitations will be sent shortly to those who donated more than $2,500 in the 12-month period ending July 1, 2010.

John Priore

Estate Planning Update With membership to URI’s 1892 Society growing steadily, the Foundation’s Office of Gift Planning recently put together special programming to inform members and prospective members about a number of gift planning-related topics. An estate planning update was held on June 22, featuring a number of gift planning experts including estate planning attorney Jim Aukerman, tax attorney and certified public accountant Peri Aptaker and the Foundation’s own Donna-Jean Rainville, director of gift planning. Timely topics relating to estate planning, tax and IRA news as well as strategies for organizing personal and financial information were presented to the attendees. A tour of the Graduate School of Oceanography’s

Bay campus followed the two-hour presentation, which was moderated by David Correira, Esq., chair of the Foundation’s Gift Planning Advisory Committee. Rainville, who organized the event on behalf of the Foundation, notes, “I was particularly pleased at the active dialogue, questions and interaction among the participants. They told me they were delighted to receive a copy of The Beneficiary Book, an organizer to manage their estate-related documents. We also had a number of additional folks who, though they could not attend because of conflicts in their schedules, were interested and suggested we hold a similar meeting in the future. We are likely to do so next spring.”

Pictured, left to right, David Correira, Peri Aptaker, Donna-Jean Rainville, Jim Aukerman

For more information on the 1892 Society and Gift Planning opportunities, please visit or contact Donna-Jean Rainville at 401.874.2296 or

Page 6

The University of Rhode Island College of Arts and Sciences is thriving due to the talent of its students and the award-winning scholars who serve on its faculty. It is the largest College at the University, with almost 5,000 students in over 30 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs. The College of Arts and Sciences provides most of the general education offerings and the liberal arts core of the University, offering majors that span a diverse range of disciplines from the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and mathematics to communications and media. “We are engaged in a rich array of teaching, research and service activities,” notes College of Arts & Sciences Dean Winnie Brownell. “Our faculty members, students and alumni have made outstanding contributions to research, education and outreach throughout the world.” Dean Brownell credits the generous support of alumni and friends with providing tremendous opportunities for students throughout the College and University. Initiatives and programs made possible by their generosity include, among many others: the Beaupre Hope and Heritage Fund, which supports students and faculty as they present, perform and exhibit their work at professional venues around the world; the annual student film festival, Visualizations, which rewards the success of student filmmakers and writers in all majors; the Amanpour Lecture in international journalism and the Cruickshank Lecture in science; the Read/Write Series presenting contemporary authors; the Center for the Humanities fellowships and lectures; and the Annual Juried Art Show. “Alumni are making terrific investments in our faculty, students and programs that truly enhance the reputation of the College and the University. Critical support from alumni and friends is also vital in creating endowed scholarships. These generous gifts have helped

Winnie Brownell

An Interview with Winnie Brownell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences many talented students achieve their educational goals,” says Brownell. A notable leadership gift to the College in 2009 provided significant support to the new Harrington School of Communication and Media. The School of Communications was formally established in 2008, with significant support provided by former CEO of The Thomson Corporation and 1973 URI alumnus, Richard “Dick” Harrington, and his wife, Jean, who pledged a $5 million gift to the University. The Harrington School offers majors in communication studies, journalism, public relations, library and information studies, film media, and writing and rhetoric. With Harrington’s pledge came a personal commitment to the School. This past semester he co-taught a research seminar with Dean Brownell. “We had undergraduate and graduate students investigate best practices nationwide in an experiential learning research group. They interviewed a number of local, national and international employers to determine workforce needs over the next five years and expectations of what communications graduates need to know and be able to do.” Dean Brownell believes that the academic experience has provided an exceptional learning opportunity for students and has been beneficial in determining the needs, opportunities and potential investments the Harrington School of Communication and Media will make to enhance student learning. “Dick Harrington is intelligent, creative, engaging and talented,” she says. “Students really enjoyed their interactions with him and learned so much from the experience. It has been a great blending of the academic world and the professional communications and media sector.” Plans for the College include a search for the first director of the School, renovation of Ranger Hall that will include installation of multidisciplinary

media labs to support student learning, and the launch of the first Living and Learning Community (LLC) for incoming freshmen as well as psychology and sociology students. The LLC will allow freshmen the opportunity to connect with others in their majors and classes and foster collaboration and formation of study groups by offering common housing. Another priority that will engage donors will be the proposed new chemistry building in the North district to be located near other science and health facilities. The new, state-of-the-art building will house the Department of Chemistry—including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response—and other programs of study and research in forensic chemistry, alternative energy and nanotechnology. “The College of Arts & Sciences includes a phenomenal community of brilliant scholars, scientists and artists who are engaged in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in the classroom and throughout the world,” says Dean Brownell. “It is just so exciting to come to work every day.”

1937 Alum “Hac” Anderson Remembers URI continued professional career at General Motors. He retired to Arizona in the late 1980s, where he established himself as an amateur painter. His second cousin, recently retired Rhode Island District Court Judge Stephen Erickson, also a URI graduate and former Wrangler debater, remembers Anderson as a gregarious man who delighted in Erickson’s own collegiate debate career. Erickson recalls that Anderson’s commitment to URI extended into his retirement, as Anderson was a member of the Arizona Chapter of the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association. URI Advancement Vice President Robert Beagle, who cultivated a friendship with Anderson through his annual visits to Arizona’s chapter of the alumni association, remembers Anderson as a thoughtful, unassuming man whose passions were family, education and community. “He felt URI was a large reason why he was successful in life,” Beagle says. “He believed the mission of public education was to give opportunities to people who did not have them.” Anderson was not interested in recognition, either, Beagle notes. “It was not about him,” Beagle says of Anderson’s gift. “His gift was about how he could help others.” Erickson concurs: “He was a fierce supporter of the University; he was as strong a booster of URI as you could possibly have. He would never have been the person he became without all that URI gave to him.” Page 7

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Fall 2010

Gifts should be mailed to: URI Foundation 79 Upper College Road Kingston, RI 02881

Or Give Online:

To make a gift that will have an immediate impact at URI you may give online by visiting Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Rhode Ways is published to showcase philanthropy and demonstrate the impact of private giving at the University of Rhode Island as well as to report on other URI Foundation activities. It is supplemented by an annual report published the fourth quarter of the calendar year. For more information, or if you have comments, please contact Tracey Manni, managing editor, at 401.874.2145 or tmanni@ For ways to support URI and information about the current Making A Difference campaign, please visit

Providence, RI Permit No. 3091

executive editor: Glen R. Kerkian Managing Editor: Tracey A. Manni Contributors: Sharon DeLuca, Paula Grey, Tracey Manni, M.E. Reilly-McGreen, Priscilla Young Photography: Joe Giblin, Nora Lewis Design & pRINTING: Images Design Company, Wakefield, RI

Davis Educational Foundation Grant Supports Faculty Development Good stewardship, teamwork and a well-articulated vision for the future led to a recent $296,800 grant award from the Davis Educational Foundation of Falmouth, Maine. The grant will further the work of the Office of Student Learning, Outcomes Assessment, and Accreditation (SLOAA) and the Instructional Development Program. SLOAA was established in 2004, with an earlier Davis Foundation grant, to institute a formal program of student learning outcomes assessment. Today, 98 percent of URI’s undergraduate programs utilize expected outcomes in teaching and advising. As SLOAA accumulated assessment data, Robert E. “Bob” Shea, interim director, began considering the logical next step: addressing identified patterns of weaknesses in student learning through faculty development. “The best teaching comes from identifying classroom problems in learning and, then, developing ways to remedy them,” Shea explains. “And from asking the question, ‘What do we really want students to learn?’” When Shea shared these thoughts with Davis Program Officer Leanne Greely Bond, she encouraged him to request funding. There was only one problem—the deadline for proposals was fast approaching. URI Foundation’s Corporate and Foundation Relations (C&F) staff worked with SLOAA to develop and submit a proposal on time. The next step was a site visit by Davis Foundation trustees. Once again, C&F assisted in creating a polished presentation. Among the key points were the success of the first grant, the many faculty development efforts already underway at URI and the new 2010-2015 academic plan, with its focus on improving student learning and engagement. “This grant enables us to start to implement and operationalize the part of that plan that focuses on strengthening teaching and learning,” Shea says. “We have a lot of the building blocks in place, but this lets us start connecting the dots.” C&F Director Michael Britt credits the Davis Foundation’s willingness to work collaboratively with URI as critical to winning this grant. Feedback from the Davis Program Officer on URI’s proposal identified perceived weaknesses that were addressed during the site visit. “It was refreshing to have such a collaborative approach between the funder and the applicant through the whole process,” Britt says. In his assessment, “It was a real team effort.”

Rhode Ways, Summer 2011  

development newsletter for URI

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