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From The Archives: A Brief History of Roger Williams University and its Student Newspaper

by Heidi Benedict, University Archivist


While Roger Williams University has been in Bristol for 45 years, the institution’s beginning dates back almost 100 years. In 1919 Northeastern opened its School of Commerce and Finance in the Providence YMCA, followed by an Evening Division Law School and the Providence Technical Institute. In 1940 the YMCA Board of Directors took over and established the Providence Institute of Engineering and Finance. The Institute closed during World War II and following the war re-opened as the YMCA Institute of Engineering and Finance.


In 1956 the school became a two-year degree granting institution, the state’s first, adopting the name Roger Williams Junior College. Its campus remained at the Providence YMCA.


Roger Williams College came in to being in 1967 and plans were made to build a campus in Bristol. The first classes on the new campus were held in the fall of 1969. The College grew rapidly over the years and the Board of Trustees voted to rename the school Roger Williams University, effective May 5, 1992.


The first reference to a student newspaper appeared in the 1947-1948 catalog for the YMCA Institute:


The Triangle is a monthly newspaper edited and published by the student body. The Triangle is a member of the Intercollegiate Publications’ Association of Rhode Island. Any student who so desires may volunteer his services for the newspaper staff.”


1948-1949 triangle staff

The University Archives currently has one issue of The Triangle. Please contact the University Archives if you have copies from other years.

Triangle, April 1947-1

Roger Williams Junior College first issued a monthly student newspaper in December, 1961. Since that time the school has continued to regularly publish a student newspaper, although under a variety of names. The Archives holds a near complete run of the student paper since 1961. You can also access the papers online from DOCS@RWU ( http://docs.rwu.edu/student_pubs/ ).