Parents & Families

Welcome to the Roger Williams University Family!

The Office of Student & Family Assistance focuses on developing lasting relationships that begin at acceptance and extend throughout your college experience. We are dedicated to supporting the overall academic success and well-being of our students.

It's a great day to be a Hawk!

Here Are A Few Helpful Links: Fall Orientation Schedule  Academic Calendar  Student Handbook  Contact Us

Law Academic Calendar  Law Student Handbook Join the Parent and Family Leadership Council

Bristol Ferry Lighthouse

Helping Students and Families to Navigate Their Course!

The RWU community is working hard to ensure that your academic needs and general well-being guide your return to campus following this challenging pandemic year.

When questions or issues arise, please know that I am here to support you. By providing students and families with robust resources, I seek to empower students with the confidence to succeed as evolving, independent adult learners. When you have specific questions, unique circumstances, or if you are unsure of where to turn, I can be reached at (401) 254-3009 or

Additionally, you will find helpful resources under the yellow Support Your Student button (below).

Best wishes for your success and wellness,
Renee Vachon Danho
Director of Student & Family Assistance

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Students in GHH

Current Families

Get the information you need to best support your current RWU student whether they are in their first year or their last.

Support Your Student
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Prospective Families

Get useful information on RWU admission requirements, programs, majors, and other information to help your student decide on RWU. Also learn about visiting campus, parking on campus, and taking full advantage of your visit to our community.

RWU Admissions

See What Makes RWU Unique
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Student & Family Events

Orientation, Convocation, Commencement, Homecoming, and Family Weekend are wonderful times when families can get better acquainted with the Roger Williams campus and Bristol community.

Join Us for an Event
Parent & Family Association

Parent & Family Association

The Parent & Family Association invites parents to serve as ambassadors for RWU in the following areas: Admission, Advancement, Career Services, and Student Life.

Join the Parent & Family Association

Faculty and Staff: How to Add an Event to the University Events Calendar

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As of April 8, the University Events Calendar has been merged with the calendar from the university's 25Live room reservation system. Now, when you reserve a space for an event on campus, it will be added to the University Events Calendar. You'll no longer have to submit the same information in two separate systems.

When reserving a space through 25Live, please write a clear event title so that anyone viewing your event on the calendar will easily understand what it is. We also ask that you add an event description, including any necessary information about cost, registration and whether it is open to students, faculty, staff or the general public. If your submission does not have a clear event title or it is lacking an event description, we may ask for more information before approving your event.

If you have any questions about how to use 25Live, please contact Deb Burgo at

21st Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program

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The 21st Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman with a digital library exhibition; a keynote panel on "Talking About Race Through Storytelling and Music"; and two Bristol community events sponsored by Rogers Free Library.

Published in 1971, Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a fictional autobiography that tells a story of race in America through the eyes of one woman whose life spans the end of Slavery and into the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The publication of the book (as well as the acclaimed 1974 TV-film adaptation starring Cicely Tyson) was an important cultural moment for further understanding the human side of the African-American experience in the United States.   

The Digital Exhibition — Opening February 9, 2021

Prepared in collaboration with Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, the digital project explores Gaines and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman through an archival look at early manuscripts, images, interviews, reviews, and other related items. Beginning February 9, it can be accessed here.

Book Discussion Hosted by Rogers Free Library

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Zoom Meeting (Click here for more information on how to attend.)

Time: 7:00 pm

Instructor: Susan Tacent, PhD

A One-Evening Writing Workshop Presented by Rogers Free Library: Make it Come Alive! — Ernest Gaines, Miss Jane Pittman, and the Power of Storytelling

Date: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, Zoom Meeting (Click here to Register for the workshop.)

Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Instructor: Susan Tacent, PhD

Talking About Race Through Storytelling & Music 

Date: Monday, March 15, 2021

Time: 7:00 PM

Place: Zoom, register here: 

Presented in conjunction with the Mary Tefft White Endowment.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of  Ernest J. Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a keynote panel, based on Gaines’ practice and philosophy, will focus on talking about race through storytelling and music. Panelists include: writer Danzy Senna (author of Caucasia); New Orleans jazz legend Michael White; and Cheylon Woods, archivist and Head of the Gaines Center at University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Talking in the Library on March 3 - Daughters of Dissidents: Jewher Ilham & Akeda Pulati

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Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Time: 7:00 PM

Place: Zoom registration:

Presented in conjunction with Scholars at Risk, and Scholars at Risk’s Student Advocacy Seminar Programs.

In 2014, Uyghur Economics Professor, IlhamTohti, was detained, arrested, and sentenced to life in prison for his work to create peaceful dialogue between Uyghur and Han Chinese. Three years later, Professor Rahile Dawut, an internationally known expert  on Uyghur Folklore and Traditions, was disappeared by the Chinese government. Tohti’s daughter, Jehwer Ilham, inadvertently ended up in the US after the 2014 detention, forced to start a new life; while Rahile Dawut’s daughter, Akeda Pulati, was a graduate student at University of Washington. Forced to seek asylum, both daughters found themselves engaged in international advocacy on behalf of their parents, and soon on behalf of their people. Jewher and Akeda will appear in a dialogue about their unique and shared experiences as daughters of prominent and missing dissidents.

On March 22, Enjoy a Conversation with Adam Haslett, the 2020-2021 Bermont Fellowship Distinguished Visiting Author

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Adam Haslett, Novelist and Short Story Writer

“A Reading and Conversation”

As part of the Bermont Fellowship for Fiction and Nonfiction, noted novelist Adam Haslett will offer a public reading and discussion. Haslett is the author of three works of fiction: Imagine Me Gone, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award; the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; and the novel Union Atlantic, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. His books have been translated into eighteen languages, and his journalism on culture and politics have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New YorkerThe GuardianDer SpiegelThe Nation, and The Atlantic Monthly, among others.

Date:  Monday, March 22, 2021
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Virtual:

Cosponsored with the Bermont Fellowship for Fiction and Nonfiction; The Rogers Free Library Jane Bodell Endowment; and the Anthony Quinn Foundation


22nd Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program, “Two Places — the Inside Room and the Outside Room,”

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Registration is now open for the 22nd Annual John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program, “Two Places — the Inside Room and the Outside Room,”celebrating the life and work of the author, Carson McCullers.

This virtual keynote panel will feature

  • Karen Allen (film actor and director)
  • Carlos Dews (ed. of McCullers’ unfinished autobiography and her Library of America collection)
  • Nick Norwood (Dir. Carson McCullers Center)
  • Jenn Shapland (author of the National Book Award nominated memoir, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers).

Date: March 1, 2022

Time: 4:30 PM

Place: Virtual
here or via the library website here

More information about our speakers and the author is available on thisLibGuide. The virtual and physical exhibitions will be announced next week.