50th Reunion

50th Reunion Commencement March

May 17-18, 2024

Come back to celebrate 50 years as URI alumni! The Class of 1974 is invited for a weekend of tours, classroom presentations, social gatherings, and more. Make plans now to be in Kingston in May.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 17, 2024

  • Hope Room, Higgins Welcome Center
    45 Upper College Road, Kingston
    $25 per person

    Kick off the weekend’s festivities with a delicious lunch and welcome remarks from your 50th Reunion committee.

  • Choose one:

    Campus Bus Tour
    Tour campus from the comfort of one of our own Rhody shuttles. URI student tour guides will give the ins and outs of campus and show you why URI has become such a dynamic place to live and learn. See the new buildings and catch a glimpse of one of URI’s newest residence halls.

    Engineering Building Tour
    The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, a 190,000-square-foot facility and home to the College of Engineering, opened to the community in 2019. Together with Bliss Hall, these spaces have strengthened the College of Engineering’s leadership in the areas of clean energy, nanotechnology, robotics, cybersecurity, water for the world, biomedical technology, smart cities, and sensors and instrumentation.

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation Labs Tour (90-minutes)
    Keith Ranaldi, director of innovation and entrepreneurship will share URI’s developing Launch Labs, housed within the Robert Carothers Library. Serving as public-facing incubators for fostering creativity and allowing students to bring their ideas to light, the spaces are designed as mixed media laboratories that enhance creative, academic, and research investigations. The lab’s newest acquisition, the 3D Knit/Wear Manufacturing Machine, is a joint venture between the Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design department (College of Business), the College of Engineering, and the University libraries. Also part of this tour will be the Maker Space and the Virtual Reality Labs, currently working with customized virtual reality simulations. Join the group to see how creativity is ignited to help students make a difference in the world.

  • Choose one:

    Athletics Facilities Tour
    Amy Simonini, Assistant Athletic Director, Development, will lead a tour of URI’s athletic facilities. Learn how these facilities have changed over the years, what familiar buildings are used for today and what is in store for our valued athletic facilities in years to come.

    Fine Arts Building Tour
    Opened in 1968, the Fine Arts Center is home to URI’s theatre, music, and art departments, which serve more than 5,000 students each year. In March 2021, Rhode Islanders approved a $57.3 million bond to continue upgrades to URI’s Fine Arts Center. Renovations have started for a new three-story, 60,000-square-foot building, which will include a new art gallery, a new lobby in front of Will Theatre, and new practice rooms and technical areas for digital art and media. Join us for a bird’s eye view of the project and hear about the plans in place to revitalize this space.

  • Stop by to take a tour of the Norman M. Fain Hillel Center, enjoy some refreshments, and hear about Jewish life at URI today!

  • Choose one:

    Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory Tour
    The Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory (RISCL), part of the College of Pharmacy, examines and evaluates physical evidence collected at the scene of a crime or related to a crime in accordance with the State of Rhode Island General Laws. Dennis Hilliard became Director of the RISCL in 1995 and currently the RISCL employs nine scientists and support staff. These dedicated professionals perform scientific testing and services on several thousand exhibits each year.

    Harrington School of Communication and Media Tour
    The Harrington School is a community of students and educators exploring the multifaceted, increasingly globalized and rapidly evolving world of communication and media. Students can choose from eight undergraduate and graduate programs, each of which provides them with hands-on learning opportunities along with rigorous classroom learning. Join Harrington School staff for tours of Ranger Hall and the Broadcast Center in Chafee Hall.

  • Alumni Center
    73 Upper College Road, Kingston
    $30 per person (includes one drink ticket)

    Enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with former classmates and see who may have been on your sports team, participated in a club with you, or lived in the same dorm or fraternity/sorority! President Marc Parlange will join us to accept the 50th Reunion class gift so generously offered by the Class of 1974.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

  • Hope Room, Higgins Welcome Center
    45 Upper College Road, Kingston
    $15 per person

    Planning to be part of the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Processional? Join us for a continental breakfast before marching to the Ryan Center. Alumni participants will be offered the opportunity to wear a commencement stole signifying the college from which they graduated.

  • Leave from Higgins Welcome Center

    Join your 1974 classmates as the group marches through campus from the Memorial Union to the Ryan Center. Led by a bagpiper, the group will march and then gather at the Ryan Center where the Class of 1974 will lead the processional for the graduating class.

    Note: The outdoor march is weather dependent. In the case of inclement weather, the group will be shuttled to the Ryan Center where the processional will begin.

  • Ryan Center
    1 Lincoln Almond Plaza, Kingston

    Be part of the processional to kick off the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony. After leading the class into the Ryan Center and being recognized by President Marc Parlange in his opening remarks, alumni may choose to stay for the ceremony or head to the Narragansett Bay Campus for additional programming. Those who wish to view the ceremony in its entirety can join the group at the Bay Campus later in the day.

  • Rhody shuttle buses will depart from the Ryan Center and will make a stop at the Higgins Welcome Center for those who did not attend Commencement and wish to be transported to the Narragansett Bay Campus. Cars may remain parked at the Welcome Center throughout the day.

  • Narragansett Bay Campus

    Details coming soon.

  • Nautilus Galley Café, URI Bay Campus
    230 South Ferry Road, Narragansett
    $20 per person

    Grab your sandwich and salad and mingle with your classmates outside on the patio overlooking Narragansett Bay (weather dependent) or indoors in the café.

  • Choose one:

    Inner Space Center Tour (limited to 25 people)
    The Inner Space Center is an international hub for ocean science exploration and education, home to some of the largest ocean science education and outreach initiatives in the country. Staff will show us the dynamics of the center and how communication between ships at sea and the center take place.

    Marine Geological Samples Laboratory Tour
    The Marine Geological Samples Laboratory is one of four National Science Foundation funded sample repositories for dredge rocks, deep-sea cores, and land-based geological samples. Its main purpose is to assure that geological samples from far-off waters are properly stored, described, preserved, and available for use by qualified investigators from around the world.

    College of Education Talk
    Danielle Dennis, Dean, Feinstein College of Education

    Feinstein College of Education Dean Danielle Dennis shares the plan for the future of the college and how its students are shaping Rhode Island’s future. Dean Dennis is leading a new student teaching program centered around giving students double the in-class experience compared to other universities’ requirements. Additionally, you will learn how the college is impacting Rhode Island outside the classroom by providing its services and advice to organizations across the state.

  • Choose one:

    Inner Space Center Tour (limited to 25 people)
    The Inner Space Center is an international hub for ocean science exploration and education, home to some of the largest ocean science education and outreach initiatives in the country. Staff will show us the dynamics of the center and how communication between ships at sea and the center take place.

    College of Health Sciences Faculty Presentation – Golden Health: Nourishing Your Body and Moving with Purpose
    Congratulations on your 50th anniversary as University of Rhode Island alumni! As you celebrate your golden anniversary, we would like to share with you how making simple yet effective dietary changes can complement your physical activity routine, enhancing overall health! We’ll delve into the importance of nutrient-rich foods that support bone density, muscle strength, and cognitive function, tailored specifically for individuals over 70. Additionally, we’ll discuss practical tips for incorporating enjoyable and sustainable physical activities into your daily life, promoting mobility, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. By the end of our presentation, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how nutrition and physical activity work synergistically to optimize your vitality in your golden years. Presented by Amanda Missimer, Assistant Professor, Nutrition & Food Sciences and Christie Ward-Ritacco, Associate Professor, Kinesiology.

    Bay Campus Aquarium and Pier Tour
    Join Ed Baker, URI Marine Science Research Facility Manager for the Ann Gall Durbin Aquarium, right on our very own Bay Campus. This phenomenal resource is able to create small replicas of the natural world. It can emulate almost any condition on the planet allowing scientists to conduct research on topics such as the health of fisheries and how climate change might impact the base of the food chain. It also provides hands-on ocean science experience for students of all ages. Following the aquarium tour, Ed will escort the group down to the new pier and showcase this newest addition to the Bay Campus.

  • Those who were transported to the Bay Campus by bus may ride the shuttle back to Kingston. Take time to freshen up for our evening’s festivities, explore a part of campus you did not see (we can provide self-guided tour maps), or simply find a place to relax. Those who arrived at the Bay Campus by car are welcome to linger at the Bay Campus and enjoy the views of Narragansett Bay or do what you like until the start of the reception back at the Alumni Center in Kingston.

  • Alumni Center Lawn
    73 Upper College Road, Kingston
    $70 lobster dinner; $50 chicken or vegetarian dinners. Includes 1 drink ticket to use at the reception.

    5:30 p.m. Class of 1974 Reception and Class Photo
    Use your drink ticket and join classmates for the official reunion photo!

    6:30 p.m. Class of 1974 Lobster Boil
    Enjoy dinner by the award-winning Matunuck Oyster Bar owned by Perry Rasso ’06, including lobster (chicken or vegetarian options available), steamers, chowder, and more. Following dinner, listen and dance to a blend of swing, rock ‘n’ roll, jump, blues, and soul performed by Rhode Island’s own Roomful of Blues.

Make a Gift in Honor of this Special Milestone

Direct your reunion gift to the program or area that means the most to you, such as your academic college, RhodyNow, athletics, or an endowment. All gifts count toward the overall class giving total. For more information contact Reunion Giving Advisor Joanne Gemma at 401.874.5514 or joannegemma@uri.edu.

Memories from 1974

  • Diane and S. Kent Fannon '74

    URI Was All About the People

  • Diane and S. Kent Fannon '74

    Best Decision Was Staying at URI

  • Michael B. Forte '74

    URI Teaches a Love of Learning

  • Tom Gunning '74

    So Many Great Memories…How Did We Have Time for Classes?

  • William

    URI Helped Connect the Dots

  • Shandelle Kenler '74

    Not Your Typical URI Freshman

  • Kenneth Osfield '74

    A Heathman Thanksgiving!

  • Vincent Marseglia '74

    URI Leads to a Happy Marriage and Rewarding Career

  • Paula M. Santos '74 M.P.A.'80 P'21

    A Joyful Walk Down Memory Lane

  • Arthur Sepe '74

    URI Builds a Great Foundation for Life

More memories…

“As a student of the URI continuing education program, I was able to receive a degree and become a high school teacher, a mentor, and lecturer. I am forever grateful to URI for my worthwhile career.” —Helen C. Kagan ’74

“Besides studying, URI had some memorable pastimes, from 25-cent movies on Wednesday nights, the Pub, bowling in the Student Union, and great concert series including Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, and Chicago! Thank you for the memories!”  —V. Shawn Lukas ’74

“My high school sweetheart (Phil Maez, deceased) and I graduated from URI–we were from Coventry, R.I. He became an executive at Heublein in CT and then Nabisco. I am a college professor in CT teaching business courses. My fondest memories were going “braless” and protesting the war. That was a big deal!” —Nancy Pietras Laguardia ’74

“I warmly remember my freshman year, rooming in Roosevelt Hall (in its last year as a dorm). Later I worked as a student counselor there with Dean Bernice Lott, helping freshmen to get settled academically and find their direction. Great memories!” —Elizabeth M. Dalton ’74, Ph.D.’09

Do we have your current contact information?

Make sure we have your latest email and mailing address so you receive emails and mailings with details about reunion activities and the commemorative reunion yearbook!

Reunion Committee

Diane Chace Fannon
S. Kent Fannon
William “Bick” Jones
Shandelle (Newman) Kenler
Vincent A. Marseglia
Kenneth J. Osfield
Paula M. Santos

For More Information

Reunion Information: Mary Cairns, Associate Director, Alumni Engagement, 401.874.4536 or mary_cairns@uri.edu.

Class Gift: Joanne Gemma, Reunion Giving Advisor, 401.874.5514 or joannegemma@uri.edu.

Gift Planning: You can make a significant impact at URI with a planned gift. Some gifts may even improve your tax or financial situation. Contact Linnell Bickford, Director of Development, Gift Planning, at 401.874.4751 or ljbickford@uri.edu.