BRISTOL, R.I. – For bestselling author John M. Barry, his most recent book chronicling the untold efforts of Roger Williams to define the roles of religion and power in a free society was a labor of love.
Starting with a kernel of an idea to write about the role of religion in 20th century America, Barry quickly realized he’d have to delve 200 years earlier to examine how the defining idea of the separation of church and state originated first in England and then rooted in American soil through the revolutionary principles of Roger Williams. As centuries of complex interconnections unfolded across eight years of research, the portrait of Williams – Rhode Island’s founder and the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty – as a political pioneer, radical, and religious prophet molded into a painstakingly examined history and riveting story of life and death in “Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty.”
Editor's note: This story is part of the10 on Tuesday series, which provides a fresh take on interesting university initiatives, research projects, campus happenings and more.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – When the 10 students in ARCH 416.02, an architecture design studio that Visiting Assistant Professor Jonathan Bell titled Invisible City, began exploring the reactivation of the abandoned rail tunnel that runs under Providence’s East Side, little did they know their ideas might capture the interest of anyone beyond the RWU campus.
But on a Thursday afternoon in September – after Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee donned a hard hat, toured the 5,080 feet of the tunnel and noted that “with a little imagination and can-do attitude, I’m sure [the tunnel] could be serviceable again” – the Invisible City classroom assignment suddenly had a very real-world audience.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The flames of knowledge will burn bright in the heart of Providence this Saturday, Sept. 28, as Roger Williams University and the RWU School of Law join WaterFire Providence for a full lighting to celebrate the many significant community initiatives and intellectual contributions that characterize the University’s presence in the Ocean State.
The RWU-themed lighting will also serve as a celebratory evening acknowledging an array of anniversaries – including the law school’s 20th anniversary, 40 years of expertise in marine biology and the statewide recognition of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter’s 350th anniversary.
WaterFire will kick off at sunset (6:34 p.m.) and feature a special Ring of Fire Torch Salute to ignite the cauldrons that pepper the Providence River from Waterplace Park to Memorial Park. In that lighting ceremony – shortly before 7 p.m. in the Waterplace Park Basin – 100 torch bearers representing the University will pass the flame and begin the process of lighting up Providence.
Bristol, R.I. – In a year of milestone anniversary celebrations and an ever-expanding focus on serving individuals and communities across the State of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University has signed on to sponsor a full lighting of WaterFire Providence on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 28.
WaterFire Providence – artist Barnaby Evans’s unique flame-inspired cultural installation, which has attracted more than 10 million visitors since its 1994 debut – announced the University’s season sponsorship and unveiled its full summer events schedule in an appearance on WPRI’s “The Rhode Show” this morning.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee today announced a formal partnership between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Roger Williams University to provide business support and other community revitalization efforts within the state’s core urban communities. The partnership was celebrated at a State House event today attended by Gov. Chafee, University President Donald J. Farish, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine and Paul McGreevy, special assistant to the governor at RIEDC.
“A key economic development priority of my administration is the revitalization of Rhode Island’s urban communities, especially our main streets in Providence, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Central Falls and West Warwick,” Governor Chafee said. “By engaging our educational institutions, we can begin to more actively utilize the skills and expertise of the excellent educational institutions within Rhode Island and also tap into the bright minds of our students for the good of the state’s economy.”