Cutting ribbons underscores the value of community

In front of their newly built home, left to right: Elijah, Jason, Jason Jr., and Cora Stone, with the Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley and President David M. Dooley.

The University of Rhode Island celebrated three major ribbon-cutting events this academic year. Each of the buildings not only reflects the University’s mission, but also tells an important story about our community.

President David M. Dooley, holding scissors, surrounded by URI students, administrators, and friends at the opening of the new pharmacy building.

The College of Pharmacy’s new, 144,000-square-foot structure provides an outstanding platform for preparing generations of students to contribute to their communities, the nation, and the world. Its state-of-the-art facilities will foster important cutting-edge research, improving the health and lives of countless people across the globe, and creating new knowledge, intellectual property, and products to stimulate sustained economic development. This building represents a major investment in the University by the government and people of Rhode Island who in 2006 approved $65 million in general obligation bonds to finance the construction. Generous alumni and corporate donors endowed special teaching and training facilities within the building. In every way, this building is about community—the support of the people of Rhode Island, the dedication of all those members of the University community who worked to make it become a reality, and the College of Pharmacy students, faculty, and staff dedicated to making a difference.

The opening of Hillside Hall, the largest and most energy-efficient residence hall on campus, was also a major celebration. Now home to 429 students, many from outside the U.S., this striking facility is a model, providing 24/7 multidisciplinary and global learning opportunities in a comfortable, “green” setting. It exemplifies the kind of vibrant campus community life the University wants for all its students.

The URI community and its partners gathered for another special celebration this fall at the dedication of the first Habitat for Humanity house on the Old North Road site close to campus. The completion of this house, the first in a four-unit complex, was the outcome of an inspirational partnership among South County Habitat for Humanity, the town of South Kingstown, the University, its student Habitat chapter, energetic and committed URI alumni volunteers, and many of our student-athletes and sorority and fraternity members who devoted themselves to fundraising and construction. As a direct result of this extraordinary collaboration, the Stone family has their first home.

The completion of each of these building projects is definitely worth celebrating. But what should make all of us at URI just as proud are the generous efforts of so many in our community who have worked, and continue to work together, to make them possible. Thank you to all.

To learn more about URI’s newest buildings, see “A Walking Tour of URI’s New Digs.” To learn more about the Habitat project, visit