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- Photo by John Simonetti

In a year of milestone anniversary celebrations and an ever-expanding focus on serving individuals and communities across Rhode Island – through our Community Partnerships Center, the Pro Bono Collaborative at RWU Law, the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and more – Roger Williams University has signed on to sponsor a full lighting of WaterFire Providence on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

The RWU-themed lighting and season sponsorship of WaterFire Providence – artist Barnaby Evans’s unique flame-inspired cultural installation, which has attracted more than 10 million visitors since its 1994 debut – allows the University to usher in the 2013-14 academic year by highlighting an array of significant occasions, including the School of Law’s 20th anniversary, 40 years of expertise in marine biology and the statewide celebration of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter’s 350th anniversary.

At the same time, Roger Williams will use the event to showcase the signature academic programs and community initiatives that serve Ocean Staters from Bristol to Providence to Woonsocket – from teaching adult learners at the School of Continuing Studies to offering independent legal analysis and expertise through the School of Law.

As specific events, plans and volunteer opportunities for the University’s participation in WaterFire are developed, updates will be posted here – check back regularly!

Volunteer/Get Involved

WaterFire relies on a team of regular volunteers to set up each of their summer events, but opportunities for RWU community members to play a part in making the event happen will be numerous.

For more information about the many volunteer opportunities associated with this special WaterFire event, please contact:
KC Ferrara


Schedule of Events

5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Steeple Street will be the hub of activity where RWU will showcase our academic and co-curricular activities. Here's the short list of what you'll find on "tent row":

Check out the fish and other fascinating marine creatures in the touch tank under the Marine & Natural Sciences tent. And learn about why it's so important to preserve our local aquaculture.

Robotics and more, courtesy of the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management.

Roger Williams the University and Roger Williams the man. Check out archival video and take away your own, "Little Roger" courtesy of the RWU Libraries.

RWU Law celebrates 20 years as Rhode Island's legal resource. Check out the video – and the glow-in-the-dark bracelets.

We love Swoop! Giveaways and other surprises under the Student Programs and Leadership tent – and kids can get their photo taken with our big blue hawk!

The kids can learn how to fold an origami house and create colorful flags, while mom and dad get the facts from our partner organizations – the Latino Policy Institute and HousingWorks RI. And watch for our roving intern Alex (with his video camera!) capturing what YOU love most about the Ocean State.

Athletics are something to cheer about at RWU! Under their tent you'll find banners, and photos and giveaways – not to mention students and coaches who can't wait to talk about their teams.

The School of Continuing Studies at RWU salutes our veterans! Learn about distance learning opportunities, and walk away with a fun bit of swag or a temporary tattoo!

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation will draw you into their tent with a creative display of two- and three-dimensional work that showcases the incredible talent of our students and faculty.

The Community Partnerships Center wants to hear from you! Discuss completed and ongoing CPC projects with students and staff, and find out how you or our non-profit organization or agency can become involved in initiatives to improve your own community!

6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
The Roger Williams University Dance Theatre performs at the Basin Stage

Join current members of the RWU Dance Theatre, RWU alumni Angela Conte '09, Christina Robson '09, Jenny Rocha '96 and Leanne Smith '11, and resident accompanist and composer Michael DeQuattro, as they present a selection of dances choreographed in honor of RWU's WaterFire sponsorship.

6:30 p.m.
Ring of Fire Torch Salute

100 special guests representing Roger Williams University and our community partners gather at the Basin as the fires are ignited and the river comes to life, officially kicking off RWU's WaterFire Providence. This spectacle is not to be missed!

6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Reception to celebrate RWU Law's 20th Anniversary! (invitation required)

Graduates of Roger Williams University School of Law gather under the tent on College Street for an invitation-only dessert reception and a chance to mingle with former classmates in town for the RWU Law Alumni Celebration Weekend.

7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Get your blue and gold on for a reception under the BIG tent on Market Square!

RWU faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends – join us for a dessert reception to celebrate the many things that make RWU such a special place, not to mention an important community partner! The entry ticket?? Wear your RWU apparel, show us your RWU ID, or update your alumni information. Then mix and mingle before or after you walk the riverbanks, visit the tents, cross the Bridge of Stars and check out the special luminaria display in Memorial Park.


Maps, Directions and Transportation

To keep track of the many events and activities surrounding the University's sponsorship of WaterFire, please view the detailed map and directions.

Campus transportation to Waterfire begins at 5pm and leaves from the Rec Center. All drop offs and pick ups in Providence are on Exchange St. immediately behind Jacky's Waterplace restaurant.

Depart RWU Time Depart RWU Location Arrive PROV Time Arrive PROV Location
5:00 PM Rec Center 5:50 PM Exchange Street
6:00 PM Rec Center 6:50 PM Exchange Street
7:00 PM Rec Center 7:50 PM Exchange Street
8:00 PM Rec Center 8:50 PM Exchange Street
Depart PROV Time Depart PROV Location Arrive RWU Time Arrive RWU Location
9:30 PM Exchange Street 10:20 PM Rec Center
10:30 PM Exchange Street 11:20 PM Rec Center
11:00 PM Exchange Street 11:50 PM Rec Center
11:00 - 11:30 PM Exchange Street 12:20 PM Rec Center

*Times are estimated and subject to change based on traffic 


Hope 350th

RWU Celebrates the 350th Anniversary of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter

With a series of events focused on the Charter’s significant influence on other colonial charters and on the U.S. Constitution itself, Roger Williams University will join with Governor Chafee’s Rhode Island 1663 Colonial Charter Commission to celebrate this important document’s 350th anniversary.

Law School 20th

RWU Law’s 20th Anniversary – 
Fulfilling the Promise

In celebrating its first 20 years, Roger Williams University School of Law can look back with pride on a legacy of outstanding scholarship, an accomplished alumni body, and an unequivocally positive impact on legal culture and dialogue throughout the region. It is the legacy of a promise fulfilled – and a promise that continues to be fulfilled.

Religion & State

Forty Years of Marine Biology at
Roger Williams

Originally a small academic program at a bayside campus in Bristol, the marine biology major now boasts not only an outstanding record of hands-on undergraduate education, but an array of public programs such as the thriving Oyster Gardening initiative and partnerships with the New England Aquarium and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, among others.


In the Heart of Providence,
the RWU School of Continuing Studies

With more than 1,000 continuing education and professional development students currently enrolled, the RWU School of Continuing Studies offers innovative programs, flexible course options and five decades of leadership in granting credit for experience gained outside the classroom.