KINGSTON, R.I.- September 28, 2017- Bill Nye the Science Guy, Whoopi Goldberg, University of Rhode Island Theatre, Rhodyville, URI football, horse-drawn carriage rides, a chance to pet animals from Peckham Farm, a 5K run and walk to benefit mental health awareness, the President’s State of the University Address and 125th anniversary brunch, and the Think Big Tank student research competition are just a few of the highlights of the University’s first Alumni and Family Weekend.
To be held Oct. 20 through 22, the event combines the traditions of Homecoming with programming for parents, students, faculty and staff to bring the entire URI community together to celebrate URI’s 125th Anniversary. To see a list of all of the events and register and/or purchase tickets, go to uri.edu/afw.
For decades, Homecoming and Family Weekend were held on separate weekends, but University leaders decided to combine the two to offer a more robust program of events to the entire URI community.
“It is a great opportunity for the URI community to come together as one to celebrate Rhody pride in all its forms,” said Christina Haas, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “It’s almost like a capstone for the 125th Anniversary year as a whole. It also makes sense since many of our students’ parents are alumni who enjoy seeing classmates and professors they may have had when they were at URI. We have something for everyone, from dynamic academic presentations and great entertainment, to food and football.”
Starting Friday, Oct. 20, a number of events will be directly related to the academic enterprise. You can take in talks ranging from The Effects of Delayed (Umbilical) Cord Clamping on Early Brain Development to The History of Oyster Farming. College Deans will also host welcome receptions inviting parents and alumni to meet current students and faculty.
At 4:30 p.m. that day, alumni, students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the 9th Annual Be 5K Race/Walk for mental health awareness and suicide prevention on the Quadrangle. The campus-wide fundraiser will start with a memorial ceremony for those lost to suicide, especially members of the campus community, and to support the families and friends of those individuals. The event, which features music, snacks and informational booths, is anchored in hope and compassion.
For those looking to enjoy a night of science with a dash of humor, scientist, comedian, engineer, author and inventor Bill Nye the Science Guy will perform at the Ryan Center Friday evening. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show are available at the Ryan Center or theryancenter.com.
“The URI Student Entertainment Committee is very excited that we are able to bring Bill Nye to the university for its Alumni and Family Weekend,” said Michael J. Nolfe, Student Entertainment Committee advisor and major events coordinator. “Bill Nye has been on SEC’s radar for the past few years. Many students are big fans of the TV series, ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy,’ which aired in the mid 1990s. The student organization also thought that a lecture by Bill Nye tied in very nicely with the theme of the University’s fall Honors Colloquium series, which is focused on science.”
URI Theatre will perform “Eurydice” throughout the weekend, on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. in J Studio of the URI Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road. To purchase tickets, visit web.uri.edu/theatre or call (401) 874-5843.
Saturday, Oct. 21 will be jam packed with events, including Rhodyville, which will feature food trucks, a family fun zone, spirit stations, and mini reunion gatherings. There will be two tailgating areas, one alcohol-free section for families and an area for traditional celebrations. The Rams will then take on Elon University in the football game at noon. Tickets for the game can be purchased at theryancenter.com.
Are you one of our young alumni? If so, head over to Whalers Brewery in Peace Dale after the game for a young alumni reunion. Attendees must be over the age of 21. Tickets can be purchased at alumni.uri.edu/yahomecoming.
Saturday wraps up with “An Evening with Whoopi Goldberg.” The actress, comedian, TV host and author has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television and has won an Emmy, Grammy, Tony and an Oscar. Tickets for this event start at $40 for the general public, $30 for alumni and family weekend attendees and $20 for URI students. Tickets can be purchased theryancenter.com.
On Sunday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. in the Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association will present its “Think Big Tank,” which will give six undergraduate students the opportunity to showcase their research and compete for a $2,000 scholarship based on audience votes. Come see great undergraduate research projects and vote for the best one.
Also on Sunday at 10:30 a.m., President David M. Dooley will give “A State of the University Address” followed by the 125th Anniversary brunch in the Pharmacy Building, 7 Greenhouse Road. Tickets for this event are $15 per person and can be purchased at uri.edu/afw.