An important part of the Mount Pleasant campus, far larger than the college’s earlier homes in downtown Providence, was the addition of six residence halls between 1961 and 2007. The first, Mary Tucker Thorp Residence Hall, provided a new type of college experience and enticed out of state students to enroll. As the college population grew dramatically, so did the need for more housing Five residence halls joined Thorp Hall at the southwestern portion of campus, with the most recent constructed in 2007.
Mary Tucker Thorp Residence Hall (1963)
Mary Tucker Thorp, a distinguished Professor of Education, served the college from 1926-1967. Educated at Boston University, Thorp taught in Rhode Island schools before accepting a position at the Henry Barnard School where she served as the director for over twenty years. She also authored a number of publications and was named the college’s first Distinguished Professor. In recognition of her community involvement, she received the Roger Williams Medal of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce as well as commendations from Brown University and Rhode Island College.
Thorp Residence Hall was a milestone in the College’s development. As the first dormitory, it symbolized a majo r shift away from a fully commuter school. At the building’s dedication, George W. Kelsey, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of State Colleges, stated that the new residence hall would “add opportunities galore to future students. 
Designed by Lamborghini, Christoph and Pipka and described by President Gaige in 1961 as “a truly brilliant piece of architectural thinking,” Mary Tucker Thorp Residence Hall is a geometric building with a central courtyard. A single story lobby faces College Road and is flanked by offset three-story wings, all together creating a square that shelters the courtyard. Light colored brick and a flat roof provide harmony with other campus buildings. Originally created to house 144 women; it is now coeducational.
Mary A. Weber Residence Hall (1965)
For 28 years Mary A. Weber taught mathematics at the Rhode Island College of Education. Born in rural Illinois in 1882, she attended the Illinois Normal School and began her career at the age of 18. While teaching, in several states, she took courses and also earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1922 she accepted a position at the Wheeler School in Providence, and 2 years later she joined the Rhode Island College. Known for her self sufficiency, thrift, and empathic approach to life, she continued to oversee from Rhode Island the operation of her farm in Illinois. During the summers of 1943 and 1944 she contributed to the war effort by operating a lathe at Browne and Sharpe. At her death in 1965, Mary Weber willed to the college more than $125,000, the largest bequest it had yet received . Upon the recommendation of President Gaige, the College honored both her service and her generosity by naming after her its newest building
Weber Residence Hall was designed by Christoph Associates – led by Frank H. Christoph of Lamborghini, Christoph, and Pipka – and constructed by M.G. Allen and Associates Builders of Warwick. Similar in design to Thorp Hall, but larger, Weber is composed of a s in gl e story lobby area facing west with three storied residence w in gs encasing a central courtyard in a square formation. Its 18 suites, each made up of I 0 private rooms, a lounge, and bath facilities, could accommodate 180 students, and, by designating a few for men only, the College for the first time allowed men and women to be housed in a single building, though in separate and independent areas.
Rose Butler Browne Residence Hall (1969)
Rose Butler Browne, a pioneer in American education , was born in Boston and raised in Newport, Rhode Island. ln 1 91 9 she received her teaching certificate from the State Normal School, and, as the first graduate to enro ll in a cooperative program with Rhode Island State College (now the University of Rhode Island), she completed the bachelor’s degree program two years later. She later received a master’s degree from Rhode Is land College, and in 1937 she became the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in education from Harvard University. For 47 years Dr. Browne taught at traditionally black colleges in the South. She drew national attention during her tenure at North Carolina College when she refused to send her students to teaching positions in West Virginia, a state known at the time for significant wage gaps between white and black employees. Her actions and the publicity surrounding the cases led to policy changes in West Virginia. After retiring in 1963, Browne ran a daycare center in North Carolina, taught part time, and served as an educational consultant and board member, among other activities. Returning to Rhode Island she ran a summer school intended to enrich the lives of black children. In 1969, at the age of 72, Browne published her autobiography, Love My Children, detailing the influence of her great-grandmother and her dedication to fighting prejudice and engendering change. She was the recipient of many honors, including honorary degrees from Rhode Island College (1950), Roger Williams (1977), and URI (1984). Browne died in 1986 at the age of 89.
Rose Butler Browne Residence Hall was dedicated on September 28, 1969, and Dr. Browne, present for the occasion, said that it symbolized for her the opportunities that Rhode Island College made available to all, without regard to their status. Designed by Lamborghini and Pipka to house 156 women, Browne Hall precedes Lamborghini and Pipka’s design for the Craig-Lee Hall addition, and the two buildings are similar in form. The main entrance to the building is through a two-story ell that fronts a large, seven story residence tower. Narrow columns of windows punctuate smooth facades of light colored brick. The building’s edges are clad in concrete.
Charles B. Willard Residence Hall (1971)
Charles B. Willard served as the President of the College from 1973-I 977. An alumnus of LaSalle Academy, he graduated from Rhode Island College of Education in 1934 and went on to earn a doctorate at Brown University. During and after WWII, Dr. Willard served in the Army and Army Air Forces where he trained pilots with aircraft simulators.  Following the war, he taught English , Social Studies, and French in Providence schools, then returned to Rhode Island College in 1958 as the Dean of Professional Studies. During his tenure, he also served as the Dean of the College, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and acting President ( 1966-1968) before accepting the presidency in 1973. For his inauguration, Professor of Art Curtis K. LaFollette designed the sterling silver and enamel Willard Medallion that is now the official symbol of the Office of the President.
Charles B. Willard Residence Hall was designed by Lamborghini and Pipka to house 144 students; the residence hall was coeducational from its opening, indicative of the social changes taking place on the Rhode Island College campus.  At the time of Willard Hall’s dedication, President Kauffman remarked, ” We say to our students that the qualities of Charles Willard are worthy of emulation and that his devotion to learning is a model for all of us. “
David E. Sweet Residence Hall (1991)
David Emery Sweet was President of Rhode Island College from 1977-1984. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Sweet attended Drury College and Duke University before beginning his teaching career in political science at Ohio State University. He went on to teach at Illinois State University before being appointed Vice Chancellor of the Minnesota State College System. His career in higher education administration flourished when he became the founding president of the Metropolitan State College in Minnesota. He returned to New England to become the President of Rhode Island College, a position he held until his sudden death in September 1984. His many accomplishments included the championship of Leadership Rhode Island as well as the continued development of the College. During his presidency, Dr. Sweet advocated for the construction of a new residence hall, a plan that was not carried out due to budget constraints. Following his death, his friends and colleagues created an endowed professorship in his name.
In 1991 a new residence hall designed by David Presbrey Architects was named in Sweet’s honor. The five-story building sits close to College Road, facing north. Significant space between the slightly recessed windows and a sunken full-length entryway give the building a horizontal quality. Speaking at the dedication, his widow Arlene stated, “David believed the best collegiate experience a student could have included living on campus …because it provides continuity and a sense of home …. David would thank you.” 
New Residence Hall (2007)
Completed in 2007 but yet unnamed, Rhode Island College’s newest residence hall was designed by Robinson, Green, Beretta (RGB) to house 367 students. It is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residence hall in Rhode Island. The building is shaped in a deep-U, with light colored brick contrasted with red brick courses and recessed vertical sections of concrete.
- "Thorp," Buildings and Named Places Binder. ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- M. Augusta Clay. "Mary A. Wheeler Brought 'Pioneer Spirit' to RIC." Providence Evening Bulletin. October 18, 1965, p.24; Michael Smith. "Remembering Mary A. Weber." http://www.ric.edu/ric150/memories/archv04.html (accessed June 29, 2012). ↵
- "Scholarships." The Unity Center. http://www.ric.edu/unitycenter/proorams scholarships.php (accessed June 29, 2012). ↵
- ""Willard Hall Dedicated." The Anchor. Vol. LXIII, Issue 7. Nov. 10, 1971. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections; "Charles B. Willard dies at 74; President-emeritus of RIC." The Providence Journal. January 11, 1986. A-06. ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- 30 ↵
- "New Residence Hall Dedicated in 'Kind Remembrance of a Good Man." What's News at RIC? Vol. 12, No 16. Nov. 11, 1991 Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections. ↵