BRISTOL, R.I. – Four years ago, Bre’Anna Metts-Nixon ’13 sat next to her mother, Christina, in their Providence home holding a piece of paper that would change her life. As they read aloud the letter of acceptance to Roger Williams University – complete with a combination of financial aid that would cover the cost of her entire college education – the two women were overwhelmed with emotion.
“We just started crying before I even got the word ‘congratulations’ out of my mouth. She was jumping around and screaming. She just couldn’t believe that her only child was going to college and actually was going to make a difference,” recalls Metts-Nixon. “We had never seen this amount of money offered to anyone in our family to succeed and get as close to our dreams as possible.”
This Saturday, she will have in hand another piece of paper to put her another step closer to her dream of becoming a music industry executive – specifically, she wants to become chief operating officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
BRISTOL, R.I. -- On Saturday, May 18, another class of Roger Williams University students will cross the Commencement stage to receive their hard-earned degrees and officially become college graduates. Joining them will be honorary degree recipient and keynote speaker, John M. Barry, an historian and author whose recent book details the work of university namesake Roger Williams. A day earlier, preeminent civil rights attorney and founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Morris Dees will address the RWU Law graduating class in a separate ceremony on the Bristol campus.
This year, both Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed on the web for those unable to join us on campus. The ceremonies will only be streamed in real time, and an archived version of the events will be made available via YouTube at a later date. Click here to watch Commencement 2013.
Presentation with Ambassador and Activist Andrew Young will highlight Inauguration Week 2011 events; reception with Ambassador Young to immediately follow.
About Ambassador and Activist Andrew Young
For a university that prides itself on creating a healthy exchange of ideas on the most pressing questions facing society and seeks to instill in its graduates a drive to serve the broader public interest, the chance to host Andrew Young as an honored guest and participant during Inauguration Week 2011 is opportune.
While the recent issue of RWU Magazine is still fresh on your desk – or coffee table – the publications team is hard at work planning the Fall 2013 issue. Our goal? To bring you the most compelling content possible. And what’s more compelling than you, our readers?
If you’ve ever wanted to see your name in print, a story in RWU Magazine is a great opportunity to share your work – personal or professional – your ideas and your passions.
No idea is too small. Think you (or someone you know) should be the subject of a Face to Face profile? Tell us why! Publish a fascinating research study recently? We’d love to hear about it. Can you play the xylophone with your toes? Quirky content works, too.
If you would want to read about it, we want to hear about it.
There are two simple ways to share your story idea with the RWU Magazine team:
“My wish is that you will use all means at your disposal … to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.”
—Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Prize Wish
Thanks to hard work, more than 6,000 hours logged underwater, and the poise that comes with having worked in just about every facet of ocean conservation, Sylvia Earle’s wish is gaining traction, one marine preserve at a time.
Bristol, R.I. – With an array of speakers urging them to live their lives according to the values treasured by the university’s namesake himself, 1,080 graduates in the Roger Williams University Class of 2013 culminated their college careers on Saturday at the university’s annual Commencement exercises.
More than 6,000 people turned out under the big tent in Bristol to watch the graduates cross the stage on a day that boasted bright sunshine and an abundantly agreeable 68 degrees on the thermometer along the bayside campus.
In addition to awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the candidates, RWU President Donald J. Farish conferred honorary doctorates to two special guests: author and historian John M. Barry, who detailed the influence of the university’s namesake in last year’s award-winning Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul, and Larry Rachleff, music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
BRISTOL, R.I. – As Roger Williams University School of Law prepares to kick off its 20th Anniversary year, Morris Dees – a preeminent civil rights attorney and founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center – addressed the 164 graduates Class of 2013 during Commencement exercises today.
“After 53 years of law practice, I can tell you that I am so proud to be a lawyer,” he told the graduates. “America is a nation of laws, and lawyers led the way long before we were a country. … We know that lawyers wrote our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. They’re essential to democracy.”
Dees, who won a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases aimed at integrating government and public institutions, received an honorary degree, along with state Superior Court Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney. Gibney's son, Nicholas Parrillo also earned a law degree at Roger Williams Friday.
BRISTOL, R.I. – It’s the question that nearly every undergraduate is asked at least a hundred times before they graduate: “What’s your major?”
Less often are they asked what their passion is. Perhaps because, for many of them, it’s much more challenging to determine what it is they want to dedicate their life to than what they want to study for four years. Such was the case for Emily D’Iorio ’13, who spent the first three years of college searching for a way to join her passion for service with her academic interests in anthropology and sociology. As a member of the Roger Williams University chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and eventually a member of it’s executive board, D’Iorio saw firsthand the impact of inadequate housing on families in low-income communities – still, halfway through her junior year she struggled to find that intersection. It wasn’t until last spring, when she took the Essentials of Public Health course with Associate Professor of Biology Kerri Warren, that D’Iorio found her calling.
BRISTOL, R.I. — When a homesick high school volunteer cries on her shoulder over the difficulty of transitioning to living with a host family in a foreign country, Laura Dushkin knows how to help the youngsters through it and learn to embrace their new surroundings and opportunities. She’s been in their shoes.
Since she was 16, Dushkin has spent many summers volunteering with Amigos de las Americas, a nonprofit organization that sends American high school students to Latin American countries to engage in community development projects, cultural exchange and youth leadership training. Dushkin, who attended high school in San Diego, Calif., has worked at sites in Honduras and Ecuador on both a volunteer and professional basis, eventually serving as a project supervisor. Upon graduation this Saturday, she will be promoted to senior project supervisor in Costa Rica.
BRISTOL, R.I. – Did you know that Roger Williams became impoverished from his tireless quest to secure Rhode Island’s original charter, which confirms the state’s sovereignty and guarantees its citizens much more freedom than elsewhere in the original colonies and across the ocean in Europe? Rhode Island’s founding father – and this University’s namesake – believed so strongly in protecting basic civil liberties that he was chased out of England and banished from Massachusetts for his opinions, only to forge ahead despite great financial costs and risks to his own freedom to lead the charge of obtaining the most rights guaranteed a citizenry at the time.