Century Walk celebrates lively past, dynamic future of URI

Established as part of URI’s 100th anniversary, walk remains vital in University’s 125th year

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Century Walk with Rhody
The Century Walk on URI’s Kingston Campus is a favorite of Rhody Rams of all generations. URI photo by Nora Lewis

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 1, 2017- The University of Rhode Island’s Quadrangle can be considered the nucleus of the Kingston Campus. It’s home to freshman orientation, 5K races and commencement to friendly gatherings, occasional Frisbee games, fundraising and much more. And there is that special brick walkway, inscribed with names, dates and messages from the heartfelt to the silly.

But in this 125th anniversary year of the University, it’s a good time to remind current students and newer faculty and staff about how it came to be.

To celebrate the University’s centennial in 1992, the annual fund office decided to mark the occasion with a commemorative brick walkway, called the Century Walk. The idea was simple–give alumni, students, parents friends and area businesses the opportunity to buy bricks and have their names, class years and messages inscribed on them.

Those interested can still buy bricks today, and funds from those purchases benefit the University and alumni programming.

The Century Walk consists of more than 3,500 installed bricks inscribed with messages celebrating alumni chapters, Greek life, athletics, students, alumni, faculty members, romances and more. Each brick is unique.

Opening of the Century Walk. Photo courtesy of Distinctive Collections, University of Rhode Island Library

Some bricks include poems, significant honors, or memories. Other bricks celebrate friendships and relationships that blossomed at the university like one that shares the message, “Linda to Mark – I Found U Here.”

Another brick honors the Colman family and time family members spent at the at the University, by listing each graduating year. The brick reads: “The URI Colmans ’05 ’09 ’11 ’15.”

Alumnus Chester W. Ham Jr. ’69 purchased 11 bricks for his message, “From oldest house to building new, from capsule deep, to tree-top sky; so many thank you’s are due because we came to URI. I hereby give a brick or two & many thanks from me to u. Use good words well, and make them fit; then let thoughts gel, with your own wit!”

If you’d like to purchase a brick or bricks to commemorate URI’s 125th anniversary, mark your time at URI, honor a friend, faculty member or family member, fill out this form. Bricks are $200 each.

Alexa Stewart, intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and Public Relations and Communication Studies Major, wrote this press release.