Rhode Island College History & Traditions

Rhode Island College, the oldest of the three public institutions of higher education that operates under the aegis of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, is located on a 180-acre campus in the Mount Pleasant section of the City of Providence.

Campus Entrance

When the College was founded in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal School, its goal was to provide teacher preparation to young people from Rhode Island. With the dedication of a new building in 1898 adjacent to the State House, the College began a period of steady growth.

Evolving first into a teachers' college in 1920 as the Rhode Island College of Education, the College offered a four-year program leading to a bachelor of education degree. In the 1958-59 academic year, the College moved to its current location and in 1959 was renamed Rhode Island College to reflect its new purpose as a comprehensive institution for higher education.

Today, enrollment is close to 9,000 with some 360 full-time faculty members. The College has grown tremendously since 1958, fostered mainly by its academic offerings. Rhode Island College offers six baccalaureate degree programs in over 50 areas of specialization and ten graduate degree programs in some 60 areas of specialization. A Ph.D. in education is offered jointly with the University of Rhode Island.

RIC Students On Campus

Please contact the Rhode Island College Admissions Office at (800) 669-5760 if you would like to receive additional information.  Please visit us at www.ric.edu/admissions

History & Traditions - Athletics

Not since 1933, when athletics were first introduced at Rhode Island College, has the intercollegiate athletic, intramural and recreation program achieved  such unprecedented growth and success. Since 1995, a dedicated "team" of coaches and staff, under the direction of Athletic Director Donald E. Tencher, have been working tirelessly to ensure that RIC students have a sound educational experience, both in the classroom and in athletics.

The Murray Center

Rhode Island College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a charter member of the Little East Conference. The College sponsors 21 varsity sports: men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, women's lacrosse, men's and women's indoor track, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track, men's and women's cross country, women's swimming, women's volleyball, women's gymnastics, men's wrestling, men's baseball and women's softball.

Recent upgrades to the College's athletic facilities and a comprehensive plan for the future will ensure that RIC students have solid venues for their athletic and recreational experiences well into the 21st century. The recent enhancements include a new track and field facility, a new tennis facility, the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Facility, the completely renovated baseball complex, the Marocco Family Student-AthleteAcademic Support Center, the cardiovascular/weight center and the cornerstone of facility renaissance - The Murray Center - a state-of-the-art, $10 million competitive building. Recent development of a 5-acre multi-purpose outdoor practice facility and continued upgrades of the Recreation Center and competitive athletic venues look to keep the athletic program at the forefront.

Academic support and life skills programming, competitive scheduling, quality coaching and the recruitment of the region's best student-athletes will continue to be the top goals of the intercollegiate athletic program at Rhode Island College in the 21st century.