Salve Regina University

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Salve Regina University
Salve Regina University logo
Motto Maria Spes Nostra
Motto in English Mary, Our Hope
Established 1934
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Endowment $44 million USD[1]
Chairman Board of Trustees Chairwoman Janet Robinson
Chancellor Sister M. Therese Antone, RSM (July 2009)
President Sister Jane Gerety, RSM (July 2009)
Vice-president William B. Hall, Margaret Higgins, Leona Misto, Laura McPhie Oliveira, Michael Semenza
Provost Dean de la Motte
Dean Laura O'Toole, Ph.D., Traci Warrington, DBA
Undergraduates 2,028
Postgraduates 576
Location Newport, RI, USA
41°28′26″N 71°17′57″W / 41.47389°N 71.29917°W / 41.47389; -71.29917Coordinates: 41°28′26″N 71°17′57″W / 41.47389°N 71.29917°W / 41.47389; -71.29917
Campus Suburban
Former names Salve Regina College
Colors Navy Blue, White
Athletics NCAA Division IIICCC, NEFC
Sports 19 varsity teams
Nickname Seahawks
Mascot Seahawk
Affiliations Conference for Mercy Higher Education

Salve Regina University is a university in Newport, Rhode Island. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, the university is a Catholic, co-educational, private, non-profit institution chartered by the State of Rhode Island in 1934. In 1947 the university acquired Ochre Court and welcomed its first class of 58 students. By a 1991 amendment to the Charter, College was deleted as the institution officially became Salve Regina University.

General information[edit]

The undergraduate academic programs are based on the liberal arts, offering concentrations in the arts and sciences and in pre-professional and professional programs. The university offers associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees, the certificate of advanced graduate study, and the Ph.D. in humanities. Salve Regina enrolls more than 2,600 men and women from 41 states and 16 nations. Approximately 2,000 are undergraduates and 600 graduate students. Currently 46 undergraduate majors, 12 graduate and undergraduate certificate programs, nine master's degree programs, and a Ph.D. in humanities are offered.

All students are required to perform 10 hours of community service in their freshman year and are encouraged to volunteer throughout their college years.

Jane Gerety has been President of the University since September 2009.


Ochre Court, Salve's administrative building

Salve Regina is a Latin term which translates as "Hail, (Holy) Queen." Salve was chartered by the State of Rhode Island in 1934. In 1947 the college was given Ochre Court as a gift by the estate of Robert Walton Goelet. It welcomed its first class of 58 students. The students lived and took classes in this building. A small group of Sisters of Mercy resided on a separate floor. Slowly, the college expanded to the 21 historical buildings and 23 modern buildings that make up the current 75-acre (300,000 m2) campus. Enrolled students number over 2,500 and staff 550.

The college became co-educational in 1973 and added graduate programs in 1975. Recognizing changes in technology, the school added distance learning/extension programs in 1985. University status was achieved in 1991, changing the school name from Salve Regina College to Salve Regina University. The Ph.D. program was accredited in 1995.

Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy was established by an Act of Congress in 1996 and is located at Salve Regina.

In 2007, U.S. News ranked Salve 37th in the northern region "Best Universities Master’s" category in its survey of the best institutions of higher education. In 2011, U.S. News ranked Salve 40th in the Tier 1 Regional Universities (North) with an average freshman retention rate of 77.8%.[2]


Mission statement[edit]

As a community that welcomes people of all beliefs, Salve Regina University, a Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of Mercy, seeks wisdom and promotes universal justice.

The university through teaching and research prepares men and women for responsible lives by imparting and expanding knowledge, developing skills, and cultivating enduring values. Through liberal arts and professional programs, students develop their abilities for thinking clearly and creatively, enhance their capacity for sound judgment, and prepare for the challenge of learning throughout their lives.

In keeping with the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy, and recognizing that all people are stewards of God’s creation, the university encourages students to work for a world that is harmonious, just, and merciful.[3]

Mission integration[edit]

Salve Regina's mission preserves the university's Catholic identity and the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy and their belief in the value of education. The integration of the mission's basic principles into the academic curriculum, student-centered programs, and institutional operations supports not only the core value of mercy, but also the shared vision of graduating men and women who positively impact the intellectual, spiritual and cultural lives of their respective communities.[4]

See also the strategic planning document "Enduring Power of a Shared Vision".


Admission is selective. Applicants to Salve Regina had an acceptance rate of 64% in the Fall of 2009 [5] and an average combined SAT score of 1125 (critical reading/math sections only). On average, of the 570 freshmen, a third ranked in the top 20% of their high school classes. Salve Regina is no longer a rolling admissions office, as the number of applications has risen steadily in the last 5 years.[6] [7]

Nursing admissions[edit]

Admission to Salve Regina's Nursing program is relatively selective, with an acceptance rate of only 37%. The nursing program can only accommodate 70 students per year. The average SAT score (combined Critical Reading and Math) of students offered admission to the Nursing program for Fall 2008 was an 1150 with a minimum 500 scored on each section. Students who chose to take the ACT had an average composite score of a 26. The average high school grade point average (recalculated on a 4.0 scale at the completion of junior year) was a 3.50. Students accepted to the Nursing program had four or more years of science with no grade lower than a B- in those courses.

Financial aid[edit]

Salve Regina offers scholarships, loans, and part-time work-study employment to full-time students and to part-time students accepted as degree candidates. Students with superior academic credentials may be considered for a number of academic scholarship programs provided by the university. Academic scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen based on rank in class and SAT or ACT scores, renewable as long as students maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The University offers endowed scholarships and participates in state and federal loan and scholarship programs including the Army ROTC program, as well as a number of private philanthropic programs.


Salve Regina offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and a doctoral degree, as well as a certificate of advanced graduate study.[6] The classes are small and are all taught by professors; no graduate assistants are used for instruction.[2]

Exchange/study abroad programs[edit]

The university's Office of International Programs coordinates a number of exchange, direct enrollment and provider programs through which students can experience study abroad for periods lasting from a few weeks to an entire year. Students have studied abroad in a variety of locations, including Australia, Austria, Belize, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Cultural and historic preservation major[edit]

The university has a major in cultural and historic preservation, which combines architectural history, archeology and preservation planning. The campus and its surrounding areas are used extensively in the major.

The program is housed in the Antone Academic Center, the former stables of Chateau-sur-Mer, the grand estate built on Bellevue Avenue for a China trade merchant in the mid-19th century. The university raised $6.5 million to convert the 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) building into art studios, historic preservation labs, and classrooms.

Global studies major[edit]

The university's major in global studies offers the most capable and motivated students a unique academic program in which they gain the skills and knowledge necessary for career success in the world of the 21st century. The program has an interdisciplinary curriculum that draws upon the expertise of a number of faculty who work in fields such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, and psychology. Students majoring in global studies do at least one semester of study abroad and seniors complete a directed research project or thesis. Each student in the major also chooses a concentration in either sociocultural identities, international development, a geographic regional focus, or one of the Mercy critical concerns (immigration, earth/environment, identity, non-violence, women, and racism).

Master's degree in international relations[edit]

Salve Regina University's Graduate Program in International Relations offers students the opportunity to obtain a master of arts degree by taking courses either on campus or online. Twelve courses or 36 credits must be completed for the master’s degree in international relations, with half of the courses coming from the program's core curriculum. Naval War College students may transfer up to 18 credits to the program. Core courses consist of INR511: Philosophical Foundations of Politics; INR512: Justice and Order in International Relations; INR513: Comparative Political Development; INR516: Identity, Harmony, and Conflict; INR531: Just and Unjust Wars; and INR533: International Political Economy. Ideally, core courses should be completed prior to taking electives.

In conjunction with the Graduate Program in the Administration of Justice, the Graduate Program in International Relations also offers a Concentration in Justice and Homeland Security. Students in this field acquire an education that prepares them for meeting challenges that affect justice and security at home and abroad. The program includes attention to counterterrorism training in such areas as information technology, terrorist groups, domestic terrorism and financial investigative techniques.


Salve Regina is located in the Ochre Point area of Newport, which is part of Newport's historic district. Newport is world-famous for its opulent "cottages," such as Belcourt Castle, The Breakers, and Marble House. The campus is considered one of the most beautiful in America, and the University has been praised for its restoration efforts.

"A small stroll through the campus of Salve is a tour of the great architectural works of the Golden Age. The protection and sensitive adaptation of these estates and their surrounding landscapes for educational use are examples of preservation at its best." Richard Moe, President National Trust for Historic Preservation[8]

Its 75-acre (300,000 m2) campus borders the famed Cliff Walk and has views of the Atlantic Ocean. It has an active campus life and is within walking distance of Newport Harbor, beaches, and other tourist attractions.


Ochre Court[edit]

The main administration offices are housed in the 50-room former summer "cottage" of Ogden Goelet, Ochre Court. The building was used in the beginning scenes of the movie True Lies.

Ochre Court was built in 1892 by the architect Richard Morris Hunt for the banker and developer Ogden Goelet and his wife Mary Wilson Goelet. The estate grounds were designed by the Olmsted Brothers. The exterior is a gothic-style limestone palace that borrows heavily from the detail of the great medieval chateaux of France's Loire Valley. It includes Louis XIII style including high roofs, turrets, gargoyles and tall chimneys. The 50-room building is also remarkable for its sweeping ocean views. The Goelets used the estate solely for Newport's eight-week summer season. It required 27 servants, 12 gardeners, and 8 grooms and coachmen to run it during the season.

In March 1947, Robert Goelet, son of Ogden Goelet, donated this mansion to the Diocese of Providence, who then gave it to the Sisters of Mercy for the establishment of the college.

The entire college was housed in this building for the first few years of its existence. The eight faculty members were nuns who lived in the mansion's servants' quarters. The original 58 women students lived on the third floor and took classes on the second floor. Students ate, studied, and used the library on the first floor. They bought books in the mansion's basement. During this time, the library held about 2,000 books, which had been gathered during the 30's and 40's before the college had a home. The library in Ochre Court was run by Sister Mary Catherine Durkin from 1947 to 1950, then by Sister Marie Therese Lebeau from 1950 to 1971, during which time the library moved to McAuley.

In March 2000, Ochre Court was designated as an official project of the Save America's Treasures program by the National Trust for Historic Preservation[9]

McAuley Hall[edit]

Inspired by Longfellow's poem about Vikings, "The Skeleton in Armor," the original owner Catharine Lorillard Wolfe called her home Vinland. Designed by Peabody & Stearns[10] in 1880, it was built in the Romanesque Revival style. It features carved belt courses and window casings with decorative motifs derived from 1,000-year-old Celtic manuscripts in its red sandstone. Ernest Bowditch designed the landscaping.[11] In 1896, Vinland was sold to railroad tycoon Hamilton McKown Twombly and his wife Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly, whose brother Cornelius Vanderbilt II owned The Breakers next door. In December 1955, Vinland Estate was donated to Salve Regina by their daughter Florence Burden.

The estate includes the main structure (a mansion with about 50 rooms) and a great number of outbuildings including a gatehouse, carriage house, and potting shed. The Vinland mansion was renamed McAuley Hall, after Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy.[12] The library was then moved from Ochre Court to the first and second floors of McAuley Hall, where it was able to grow in volumes and staff. Faculty offices were also located on the second floor, and student housing on the third floor. The library remained in McAuley Hall until all available space had been used and there was a need for a modern building to house the library and its collections. Thus McKillop Library was conceived, planned, and built.[12] The main building is now used for faculty offices, student meetings and limited classes.

McKillop Library[edit]

Built in 1991, the library includes over 150,000 equivalent volumes and Macintosh and Pentium PC labs equipped with national and international databases and Internet and World Wide Web connections. Labs include multi-media options, and a Multi-media Center allows production of interactive presentations.

McKillop Library was named after former President Sr. Lucille McKillop, during whose tenure Salve Regina overcame a $1 million deficit, more than doubled its enrollment to 2,300, and was transformed into a financially viable university offering a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses. Sr. Lucille McKillop was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Medal of Honor, Compassionate of Merit in the rank order of Officer Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem; National Conference of Christians and Jews Inc. Brotherhood Award; the Mercy Higher Education Colloquium Award for Excellence and Leadership in Higher Education; the Rhode Island Distinguished Service Star, awarded by Gov. Bruce G. Sundlun; and the Hope Award of the Rhode Island Commission on Women.


Seaview is a dormitory that was built in 1880 as a stable for Carey Mansion.


Conley is a Tudor Revival building located off Annanndale Rd. It houses approximately 50 students.

Watts Sherman[edit]

The William Watts Sherman House was built in 1876 by William Watts Sherman and his first wife, Annie Derby Rodgers Wetmore.

It was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and is generally regarded as a stepping-off point for what later became known as the Shingle Style in American architecture. It features a masonry first floor with small half-timbered panels, textured stucco, and diamond-panel windows above. It is known for its massive chimneys and unifying broad gable roof with weathered wood shingles. It borrows from the English Queen Anne country house style with combined elements that draw from medieval European, Renaissance English, and Colonial American styles. The interior has rooms clustered about a spacious central stair hall. Renderings were done by Stanford White. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house is a 19th-century American architectural landmark.

In 1949, a Baptist church acquired the house and turned it into a nursing home, the Baptist Home of Rhode Island. A utilitarian annex was added in 1969. Salve acquired the property in 1982.


Wakehurst was conceptualized in 1882 and built for James J. Van Alen between 1884 and 1887. It was designed to replicate Wakehurst Place, an Elizabethan manor house built in Sussex, England in 1570, that still stands today. Charles Eamer Kempe drew the original plans. Dudley Newton supervised the construction, including the assembly of certain rooms that were created and built in England. The building of these rooms, the English Jacobean Long Hall, Dutch Renaissance den, and Bruges dining room, introduced the concept of the "museum room." The dining room was also the first actual neoclassical room by Robert Adam to be imported to America. The grounds of Wakehurst were created by landscape designer Ernest Bowditch. It mimics an English country estate, with footpaths winding among a large variety of trees and ending at formal gardens. The slate roof, made of Vermont slate, is unique in American architecture.

The home represents a vintage transition in scale between the humble Newport summer cottages of the Civil War era and the grandiose mansions that followed.[13] In 2001, it was designated an official project Save America's Treasures[9] by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[13]

Salve purchased Wakehurst in 1972. It is currently home to the university's Student Center and to the departments of English and Cultural and Historic Preservation.

Wetmore Hall (Antone Academic Center)[edit]

Wetmore was the former carriage house and stables for the Chateau-sur-Mer estate. Built in 1852-53 by Seth Bradford for William Shepard Wetmore, it was the most significant "service building" for Chateau-sur-Mer. Between 1876 and 1883, plans for alterations to the carriage house complex may have been completed by Richard Morris Hunt, who was designing alterations to the house at the time.[14] In March 2006, it was recognized as a Department of the Interior National Historic Landmark.[14]

The 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) carriage house and stables complex had significantly advanced engineering systems for the 19th century. Many remain intact, such as complex and still-functioning systems of ventilation and heating and cooling. The carriage house also retains a high level of decorative finish throughout its interior, including cast-iron hardware, Minton tile in the stable stalls, and decorative yellow brick flooring laid in black grout. The exterior of the structure is characterized by rough-cut sandstone laid in a random horizontal fashion, with a slate mansard roof, gable dormers, and unique features such as a Belgian block courtyard laid in a concentric circular pattern.[15] Noted exterior features include large wooden doors.

Wetmore Hall was recently renovated with the assistance of a Champlin Foundations grant received in 2005. Wetmore was joined with the Ochre Court carriage house (Mercy Hall) to form the Antone Academic Center. The center now houses the cultural and historic preservation program, including its Community Preservation Laboratory dedicated to assisting individuals and organizations in the greater community in need of historic preservation research and expertise, and the Department of Art, including its studio major of Interactive Communication Technology (ICT), as well as publicly accessible presentation areas.[15]

Young Building/Fairlawn[edit]

The three-story brick and wood frame structure built for Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Ritchie of Boston was part of the initial development of Bellevue Avenue during the 1850s. Wrought-iron gates and a mosaic-tiled floor at the front entrance lead to the Great Hall with its carved staircase. The dining room, paneled in dark carved wood under an ornamental ceiling, could seat up to 100 guests. Benjamin Harrison's Vice President, Levi P. Morton, bought the property in the late 1860s and commissioned Richard Morris Hunt to build a ballroom on the south side. The room was added in 1870 expressly for the visit of Ulysses S. Grant shortly after he became President.[16]

In 1881, McKim, Mead and White designed second-story family rooms over the ballroom. Also during this period of renovation, Tiffany stained-glass windows were added to the Great Hall. I. Townsend Burden bought the house nine years later and commissioned Peabody and Stearns to design a curved porch. Fairlawn remained a private residence until the 1920s. It has served as a preparatory school and a junior college and was returned to residential use after the 1960s. Acquired by the university in 1997 to house the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, it was restored and renamed in memory of Anita O'Keeffe Young and Robert R. Young. The university received the Newport Historical Society's Historic Preservation Award in 1999 for the restoration of this building.[16]

Founder's Hall[edit]

The former summer home of Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson Spencer is designed in a Colonial Revival style. The architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns adapted formal Georgian details like pedimented dormer windows, a fanlight entrance, and roof trim to the informal ambiance of a seaside villa. It was purchased by the university in 1964.[17]

Satellite campuses[edit]

Additional satellite locations include the Center for Adult Education, 144 Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, R.I.; Kent County Memorial Hospital, Warwick R.I.; Newport Hospital, Newport R.I.; and Women & Infants Hospital, Providence R.I.

Campus Heritage Preservation Plan[edit]

Salve Regina University was the first New England institution to receive a Getty Grant Program award to develop a Campus Heritage Preservation Plan. The Campus Heritage Preservation Plan includes a detailed review of 21 buildings comprising seven contiguous 19th-century estates that distinguish Salve Regina's historic campus. The plan includes full existing conditions reports, restorative plans and, where appropriate, comprehensive recommendations and plans for adaptive reuse. The plan has been integrated as the key component of several classes in the Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, as well as affording students countless opportunities for independent study.

In addition to the Getty Grant Program, Salve Regina's efforts have resulted in awards from the Newport Historical Society, the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Save America's Treasures Program, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Preservation Society of Newport County, and The Victorian Society.


Salve Regina University Athletics compete on the NCAA Division III level. The University is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) and New England Football Conference (NEFC). The university offers 10 varsity sports for women (soccer, field hockey, tennis, cross country, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, softball, track and field, and lacrosse), eight for men (football, cross country, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, baseball, and lacrosse), and one co-ed sport (sailing).

In addition, the university has a successful club sports program. The men's rugby club competes at the Division III level in the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU). The team won the 2010 NERFU College Men's Division III Rugby Tournament and placed third in the National Small College Rugby Organization [2] Championship. In 2010 Salve Regina Rugby had an undefeated season finishing with ten wins, zero losses. In 2011 Salve Regina Rugby had another undefeated season finishing 17-0 and winning the NSCRO National Championship, its first in school history.

The highly regarded co-ed sailing team competes in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). Sailing was named a varsity sport over the summer of 2008.

While every sports program has been successful in its tenure, Men's tennis has become an athletic institution at Salve Regina University. Under the strong leadership of coach Brian Shanley the Seahawks have notched 10 Commonwealth Coast Conference Championships and twice ranked runners up since Shanley took over as head coach in 1995.[18]

Former Salve Regina baseball player Damian Costantino holds the NCAA record (for all divisions) for consecutive games in which he had at least one hit, at 60 games. Costantino passed former professional ball player Robin Ventura of Oklahoma State (58 games) in 2003.[19]

An Athletic/Wellness Center is located on campus. It has varsity and intramural sports as well as health and fitness programs. Student-athletes have the opportunity to occasionally compete at historic Newport athletic sites such as Cardines Field, home to one of the longest-running amateur baseball leagues in the country or the grass courts of the Newport Casino at the Tennis Hall of Fame.

The University's Rodgers Recreation Center is the pre-season training home of the Boston Celtics.

Famous alumni[edit]



Law enforcement[edit]

  • Chief Rick Stone - Chief of Police. United States Department of Justice "Law Enforcement Officer of the Year" and the most highly decorated officer in Dallas Police Department history, including the Medal of Valor.

Bachelors degree from Univ of Texas at Arlington, according to his and Dallas PD websites.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Dr. Arthur Frankel, social psychology
  • Dr. W. James Hersh, philosophy, professor emeritus
  • Dr. Tina Wray, Religious Studies
  • Dr. JD Swanson, Rubus Functional Biology
  • Dr. Susan Meschwitz, Organic Chemistry
  • Dr. Bernard Munge, electroanalytical chemistry
  • Dr. Steven Symington, Toxicology/Ion Channels
  • Dr. Alison Shakarian, Pathogen Biology

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

The art program is among just 10 at liberal arts universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accredits the Nursing Program, which is also approved by the Rhode Island Board of Nurses Registration and Nursing Education. The Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education programs are interstate-approved.; students completing these programs qualify for certification in approximately 45 states. The Social Work Department offers a baccalaureate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Business Studies program is accredited by the International Association for Collegiate Business Education. The Master's program in Rehabilitative Counseling is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).

Other Memberships:

American Council on Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Association of College and Universities, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, College Entrance Examination Board, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, National Association of College Admission Counselors, National Catholic Educational Association, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Council of Independent Colleges, Council on Rehabilitation Education, Mercy Higher Education Colloquium, Association of Mercy Colleges, Council on Social Work Education

See also[edit]


External links[edit]