History & Tradition
Rhode Island College, the first of the three public institutions of higher education in Rhode Island, was founded in 1854 as the Rhode Island Normal School on Benefit Street in Providence. The college's goal was to provide teacher preparation for qualified high school graduates in Rhode Island. In 1898 a new building adjacent to the State House was dedicated and in 1920 the name was changed to Rhode Island College of Education. During the 1958-59 academic year, the college moved to its current location, a 180-acre park-like campus in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence. In 1959 the college was renamed Rhode Island College to reflect its mission as a comprehensive institution of higher learning.
The first alumni association was formed in 1887. Today we are proud to serve as a resource for more than 50,000+ alumni who continue to support the college and contribute to Rhode Island and the region in multiple ways.
Includes Undergraduate and Graduate Alumni as of May 2020
- Total – 75,065
- Living – 65,609
- Reachable – 64,367
- International – 138
- Number of states with alumni representation – all 50 states and the District of Columbia
- Deceased – 9,456