During his 18 years as president, Robert Carothers led the University of Rhode Island into the new millennium, helping the university to create master plans for development, strengthening university infrastructure, and reinforcing a stimulating learning environment for students.
His dedication to academic excellence helped spur an overall trend towards a healthier state university with a rise in grades and test scores of incoming freshmen, increasing minority enrollment, and the refurbishment and construction of campus facilities. He has provided a diverse and respectful environment for students, by establishing cultural competency standards for student success in society, and he has been a powerful advocate for the University, helping to raise millions of dollars in private support for higher education as well as new state and federal grants.
Carothers is also an active civic leader, serving on the boards of numerous organizations including the Leadership Council of the American Council on Education, Bradley Hospital, Citizens Bank, The National Council on Christians and Jews, the Newport Music Festival, the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council and the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
Carothers resides in Rhode Island and is Executive Vice President of College Unbound.
George Kent has enriched the arts in Rhode Island for over 65 years. In 1959, Kent founded the Chorus of Westerly, a Rhode Island institution with a unique mix of singers featuring children, adults, amateurs, and professionals working together as a disciplined unit, covering a broad range of music, performed in numerous locations, including their own concert hall that bear’s Kent’s name. He acted as director of the Chorus until 2012, when he was named music director emeritus.
Kent has reached a worldwide audience touring the United States, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and Germany. As organist with trumpeter Edward Tarr, he produced award-winning recordings on the Nonesuch label that were later reissued in Europe and Japan.
In addition to his work with the Chorus, he also served as Professor of Music at the University of Rhode Island and continues to serve as Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church, Westerly.
Mr. Kent is a recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award, and a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He has also received an Award for Excellence from Rhode Island’s South County Center for the Arts in Kingston, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts New England.
As an immigrant from Vietnam, Joseph Le recognized the challenges unique to Southeast Asian immigrants in Rhode Island and has spent most of his time in this country working to create tools to make these challenges more manageable.
As co-founder and Executive Director of the Socio-Economic Development Center for Southeast Asians, now known simply as the Center for Southeast Asians, Mr. Le developed numerous programs and services aimed at youth development and adult education including ESL (English as a Second Language) Programs, the International Language Bank, which provided translation services, family reunification assistance, social service networks, job counseling and placement, citizenship classes, substance abuse prevention programs, and programs targeting at-risk teen populations.
In addition, his personal and professional commitment and dedication to social justice issues has been demonstrated by his service on Advisory Committee on Women and Minorities in the Courts, the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Prejudice and Bias, the Rhode Island Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee on Aging, the Steering Committee for the Democracy Compact of Rhode Island, and many others.
Over a 34 year tenure, Ben Mondor guided the once bankrupt PawSox to a secure and profitable existence as one of the most successful teams in professional baseball. Affectionately known as a “fan’s owner,” his commitment to providing a clean, comfortable, and fun experience at a reasonable cost helped make the PawSox a Rhode Island treasure.
Mondor also helped push forward the renovation on McCoy Stadium in 1999, at the time making it a state-of-the-art facility drawing over 600,000 fans a year, with more than 14.5 million people attending games during Mondor’s ownership.
Mondor has been inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Fame as well as the International League Hall of Fame. Other honors include the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy from the Nation Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award, and the Jude Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service from the Boston Baseball Writers, among many others.
Mondor passed away in 2010 at the age of 85. In 2021, the PawSox franchise left Pawtucket for Worcester, MA with the team now being known as the WooSox.
For over 50 years, Rose Weaver has touched audiences both locally and abroad, performing on stage with Trinity Repertory Theatre, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and many other widely recognized theatrical and music organizations. Her on-screen credits include The Accused, Civil Wars, L.A. Law, Poetic Justice, and others. Additionally, she wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning special Another Christmas Miracle.
Though best known for her artistic achievements, it is her ongoing commitment to sharing her energy and enthusiasm that has made her Rhode Island’s sweetheart. Ms. Weaver has shared her talents with students throughout New England, teaching at Wheaton College, Rhode Island College, the Rites and Reasons Theatre at Brown University, and has been artist-in-residence for the Providence Public Schools.
Her service to the Rhode Island Community has been honored with numerous awards, including honorary doctorate degrees from Marymount Manhattan College, Providence College, and Wheaton College, as well as the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts.
In 2021, Weaver left Providence for her home state of Georgia to be closer to family.