We began day two of the Rhode Island counselor tour at Bryant University, just 12 miles south of Providence. Bryant’s campus is gorgeous, and many new buildings dot the 428-acre campus, including the new Fischer Student Center. Bryant has approximately 3,200 undergraduate students and boasts a strong business program. The business program is consistently ranked in the Bloomberg Report top 50. The investment class is in high demand, and students must apply to be admitted to the class. Other notable programs include entrepreneurship, Chinese and actuarial math. Bryan encourages its students to think globally and offers the Sophomore International Experience: a three-credit course with a 10-12 day abroad experience. Bryant has Division I sports. This year’s softball, women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s tennis were tops in their conference. Basketball games are well attended. Greek life has a small presence, with only 10% of students joining fraternities and sororities. Our tour guide told us that it is easy to get involved at Bryant with its small, tight-knit community and passionate professors who want you to succeed.
Our next stop was University of Rhode Island, located in Kingston. An eclectic mix of old and new buildings dot the landscape of this flagship campus. University President Dr. David Dooley told us that URI is not only committed to preparing students for jobs and careers of today but the future as well. Curriculum is flexible and interdisciplinary, which encourages students to be global thinkers and study abroad. As part of a new general education curriculum, all students will be required to participate in an experiential learning experience before graduation. The most selective majors are nursing, engineering and pharmacy. Ninety percent of freshmen live on campus. Many upperclassmen choose to “live down the line” in off-campus, off-season beach houses. Students at URI have lots of school spirit. Division I sports are popular. Basketball is the number one spectator sport on campus; students can attend basketball games for free by presenting their student ID. Students I met were friendly and down-to-earth. Our tour guide told us that students at URI generally stay on campus, head to nearby beaches or Providence on the weekends.
Our final destination for day two was Salve Regina University. The campus is breathtaking! The 80-acre campus borders the famed Newport Cliff Walk, and historical, Newport mansions now serve as classrooms and dormitories. The Sisters of Mercy founded the University as a college for women. Today it is a co-educational institution with approximately 2,200 undergraduates. Popular majors here are nursing, teaching and business. Study abroad participation consistently ranks high. Our tour guide told us that Salve students are committed to service in the greater Newport area, and some spend their semester breaks serving in Central America. Dance and the performing arts are popular. We had the opportunity to see two beautifully performed and choreographed student dance compositions. Dinner was served in the ballroom of a majestic mansion overlooking the Narragansett Bay, which now serves as an administrative building. I found myself imagining what life was like here during the roaring twenties, when these “summer cottages” were inhabited by the very rich. Back on the bus!
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