URI President Carothers, Dean Richmond donate $100,000 toward international center on campus

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KINGSTON, R.I. –October 15, 2007—“Nobody wants the University to be more successful than the people who have spent much of their careers here,” notes Robert L. Carothers, explaining why he and Jayne Richmond, dean of University College and Special Academic Programs, decided to donate $100,000 to the University’s Making a Difference campaign.

Carothers became the University’s 10th president in 1991. Richmond joined the URI faculty in 1986 and became a dean in 2002.

The couple is directing their generous gift toward the creation of an International Center for Students and Scholars, a two-story building to be linked to the Multicultural Center by a glass corridor.

Carothers and Richmond see a synergy between the two buildings. Both are committed to multiculturalism and see international education as another aspect of it. Therefore it seems important to connect the two centers and their shared agenda prominent in the very center of campus.

“We have been working for many years to integrate international education and intercultural exchange into an expanded global perspective for our students and faculty,” says Richmond, noting there are outstanding faculty members and students coming in and going out of the University, creating a cultural diversity that benefits everyone.

“Today, the University is recognized for having some of the best language programs in the country,” the dean says. “More and more of our students are studying or interning abroad in more locations.”

For example, during this calendar year there are 525 international students and 134 international scholars on campus. In addition, there are 55 students from other countries studying “abroad” at URI while 600 URI students are studying abroad in other countries.

“The center will provide a gathering place, a central location where the entire campus community—international and domestic students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars—can access information and resources and exchange ideas,” says Richmond. “Its physical presence will demonstrate that international education is a dynamic agenda on campus.”

The center will house three offices directed by Dr. Dania Brandford-Calvo. The first, the Study Abroad and National Student Exchange Office, oversees study abroad opportunities for students, including the chance to study in more than 200-affiliated study aboard programs in more than 40 countries. Students can also opt to study at more than 190 domestic colleges and universities, which includes U.S. territories, as well as some Canadian provinces. The office also assists visiting exchange students. The second, the Office of International Students and Scholars provides required immigration documents and problem-solving assistance to all undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, and their dependents. The third, the Office of International Faculty-Led Summer Programs allow firsthand exploration of Belize, Cape Verde, China, Dominican Republic, England, Greece, Italy, Philippines, and Spain, all taught by URI faculty.

“For many years, students from other countries have been coming to the United States for their education. This has served our country well,” says the President. “It has helped explain us better. It builds professional relationships, but perhaps the biggest benefit is that is creates friendships.”

Anyone interested in knowing more information about the International Center for Students and Scholars or in the Making A Difference campaign call the URI Foundation 401-874-2145 or email campaign@uri.edu.

URI photo by Nora Lewis