Writing a history of the Mount Pleasant campus has been a many-layered project. I was first introduced to Rhode Island College as a little girl, when I joined my mother and uncle – classes of 1980 and 1982, respectively – at annual Homecoming celebrations. From playing in the knolls near the Student Union to enrolling as a student in 2006, my relationship with Rhode Island College has been present for most of my life.
I am forever indebted to Special Collections Librarian Marlene Lopes and James P. Adams Library Director Hedi BenAicha for providing me this opportunity to explore Rhode Island College’s buildings and stories. I hope that my research will provide a new context for the campus that can be taken for granted or misunderstood, as modern architecture often is. In the mid-1950s, amidst continued postwar optimism and unity, the Mount Pleasant campus was designed to provide streamlined, progressive, and thoughtful spaces for students to grow and learn. The campus’ continued development through the 1960s to the present day is a testament to the importance of the institution to future generations of thinkers.
In addition to the support of my family and the library, I appreciate the continued connection with my mentors in the Rhode Island College History Department. Thank you also to Thomas Visser and Robert McCullough of the University of Vermont, who trained me to read buildings and understand that if you are willing to listen, your environment will tell everything you need to know. Thank you D.J., for your love and support.
Elizabeth D. Warburton, ’10
June 29, 2012