Who We Are

Working to strengthen society through engaged teaching and learning.

Roger Williams University is inextricably connected to Roger Williams, the 17th-century leader devoted to freedom of conscience and social justice who founded a community in Rhode Island based on those tenets. Roger Williams' philosophy, and what has been called his 'lively experiment,' nurtured the growth of vibrant and open societies. Our pursuit of excellence in education, academic accomplishment and community service is rooted in his focus on intellectual exchange, critical thinking, inclusiveness and innovation as a means of improving a free society. It is this legacy that inspires our core purpose.

Community Engagement Celebration

Helping Communities Near & Far

RWU is dedicated to engaged, hands-on learning and teaching that helps strengthen society. Every student is provided the opportunity to participate in a real-world learning experience that helps a community partner locally or globally. School of Law students offer pro bono legal services, with many completing more than 100 hours of service before graduation. Every RWU student makes an impact on our society – from working in the Rhode Island community to participating in a study-abroad program overseas.

image of students at RWU Commencement 2019

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion are institutional core values at RWU. The 2014 Vision project established DEI as a unifying thread through the institution’s core purpose of being the University the World Needs Now, and its six vision goals.

In 2017, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was established under an inaugural Vice President to serve as a catalyst for our institutional DEI efforts, amplifying long-standing efforts across RWU campuses. In the 2019-20 academic year, Institutional planning processes - including the Strategic Action Planning process and Equity Action Plan development - reaffirmed these values and institutional direction.

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Historic sketch of Roger Williams

Who Was Roger Williams?

We draw inspiration from our namesake – the 17th century visionary and founder of Rhode Island who advocated for religious liberty, equality and a government free of religion. It is these principles that shape our vision.

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A History of Growth

The university’s roots date back to 1956, when we started as a junior college inside the Broad Street Providence YMCA. Jump to 2017, we now have more than 75 program offerings on two campuses in coastal Bristol and the capital city of Providence.

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More About RWU

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Our Vision

RWU's roadmap for the future of the University, developed with input from an array of voices from the campus and the community.

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Careers at RWU

View open employment opportunities and learn more about joining our devoted community of students, faculty and staff.

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Administrative Offices

Looking for assistance? Find the appropriate RWU administrative office for your needs here.

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