The University was chartered as the state's agricultural school in 1888. The Oliver Watson farm was purchased as a site for the school, and the old farmhouse, now restored, still stands on the campus. The school became the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, and the first class of 17 members was graduated two years later.
The University of Rhode Island is the State’s public learner-centered research university. We are a community joined in a common quest for knowledge. The University is committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions. URI is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreach serve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island ’s heritage of independent thought, we value: