Johnson & Wales University

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Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University Logo.svg
Type Private, nonprofit
Established 1914
Endowment $263.78 million (2015)[1]
Chancellor John Bowen
Students 16,095 (total)
Location Providence, Rhode Island,
Charlotte, North Carolina,
Miami, Florida,
Denver, Colorado
, United States
Campus Urban, 176 acres (0.71 km2)[2]
Colors Blue and white          
Nickname Wildcats

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is an American private, nonprofit, co-educational, career-oriented university with one main and three branch campuses located throughout the United States. Providence, Rhode Island is home to JWU's first, largest, and main campus. Founded as a business school in 1914 by Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales, JWU currently has 15,063[3] students enrolled in business, arts & sciences, culinary arts, education, engineering, equine management, hospitality, and engineering technology programs across its campuses.[4]

The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.[5]


Downcity Providence campus

Johnson & Wales University operates campuses in four locations:

Two previous campuses in Charleston, South Carolina (opened in 1984) and Norfolk, Virginia (opened in 1986), were gradually consolidated into the Charlotte campus, starting in September 2003 and ending in May 2006 with the closures of the Norfolk and Charleston campuses.


The John Hazen White Center is home to the College of Arts & Sciences

JWU currently has four academic units at four of its different campuses: the College of Business, the College of Culinary Arts, the Hospitality College, and the College of Arts & Sciences.[6][7][8][9]

The Providence Downcity campus is home to the College of Business, the Hospitality College, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Technology.[10] This campus is home to several additional academic units: the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School and the College of Culinary Arts.[11] It also has the School of Education, which offers specialized master's and doctoral degree programs.[12] Students just entering the field can earn a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T. Program), and current teachers can earn a Masters of Education degree (M.Ed.). For current teachers who want to advance their degree, there is a doctoral program where they can earn their Ed.D. Johnson & Wales University also offers 11 online bachelor's degrees and nine online master's degree programs.

Johnson & Wales University is well known for its culinary arts program, but was first founded as business and hospitality programs. The university is the largest food service educator in the world. JWU is one of the top three hospitality colleges, according to the 2010 rankings released by the American Universities Admissions Program, which ranks American universities according to their international reputation.[13] JWU is home to the 39th largest college of business in the United States.

The university offers a wide variety of degrees, including Accounting, Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management, Equine Studies/Equine Business Management & Riding, Management, Marketing, Criminal Justice, Entrepreneurship, Hotel & Lodging Management, and Sports/Entertainment/Event Management. The Providence Downcity campus offers two- and four-year degree programs in areas of technology such as network engineering, electronics & robotics engineering, computer programming, biology, health science, and graphic design.

JWU's academic year is divided into three trimesters, each 11 weeks long, where the standard fall and spring semesters are replaced with fall, winter, and spring trimesters. Classes are also offered during the summer months, creating a fourth academic period. This results in an earlier spring break and a typical summer break from May to September. During fall, winter, and spring terms, students usually take three to four courses a term. Students in the culinary program are enrolled in five nine-day lab sessions, which take place Monday through Thursday each week. Such courses are only available for full-time students.

Campus facilities[edit]

Centennial Hall on the Denver campus

In addition to the on-campus academic buildings and dorms, the university also operates hotels used as practicum education facilities for the university's Hotel & Lodging Management, Food Service Management, and Culinary Arts degree programs. The facilities include the Radisson Hotel Providence Airport[14] in Warwick (within fifteen minutes of the university's Providence campus), and the Bay Harbor Inn & Suites, located in Miami Beach. The university also owns the Doubletree Hotel Charlotte-Gateway Village at the Charlotte Campus.

The Wildcat Center is the athletic facility of Johnson & Wales University. Denver was the only campus to officially have that name, until the Providence campus renamed its gym as well (formerly the Harborside Recreation Center). It is home to the athletic program of this branch of the university, and was home to the ABA's Colorado Storm in 2004. In Denver, Wildcat Center is located at the northwest part of the Johnson & Wales campus. The Wildcat Centers, fully renovated as of the summer of 2009, are NAIA and NCAA regulation size, and seat over 600. In Denver the fitness center has tripled in size, and the locker rooms have increased from two to four,to accommodate game day needs as well as general use.[15] The Providence Wildcat Center is located on the Harborside Campus, and has many similar features. The fitness center is already large enough, at twice the size of the downtown center.

Providence now features the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex, located on the Harborside campus, which hosts baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.

Greek life[edit]

Providence campuses[edit]

Snowden Hall, downcity Providence campus

The Providence Downcity and Harborside campuses currently offer membership in 15 fraternities and sororities as well as two social fellowships. These are organized within four groups who act as the governing bodies: the InterFraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council (PHC), the United Cultural Council (UCC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). While all of these organizations are nationally or internationally affiliated, the university oversees the Greek community on campus. Not recognized by the university, the Providence campuses are also home to a number of "off-campus" fraternities. Deeply rooted in tradition, some of these organizations make up the origins of Greek life at the university and continue to exist and recruit new members without the sanction of the school.



Social fellowships or other[edit]

North Miami campus[edit]



Denver campus[edit]

Charlotte campus[edit]




The teams of all campuses of Johnson & Wales University are known as the Wildcats.

Willie T. Wildcat[16] (better known as Wildcat Willie) is the official costumed mascot. The suit was redesigned and revealed at the annual family weekend on October 16, 2013 as an early start to the school's centennial year (2014). Previously the costumes had been very different across the four campuses, but the new design replaced all former costumes. The new design came from Devon Tsinzo (Providence Class of 2015), who won the redesign contest. The new mascot was made by BAM! Mascots. Willie appears at home games, alumni events, and other special events. He is played by multiple students, meaning that JWU can accept requests for him to appear at many events. Although the various campuses compete either in the NAIA, USCAA, or NCAA Division III, Willie follows the rules of a Division I mascot, including never breaking character.

During the 1980s and 1990s the official mascot at the JWU Providence campus was Griff the Griffin, a creature with the head of an eagle, body of a lion and tail of a dragon.

Providence campuses[edit]

JWU Providence (Downcity and Harborside) teams participate as members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Wildcats are a member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, ice hockey, sailing, soccer, tennis, volleyball and wrestling, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, equestrian, soccer, softball, field hockey, tennis and volleyball. The Wildcat men's ice hockey team competes as an associate member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

North Miami campus[edit]

JWU North Miami teams participate as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Wildcats are a member of The Sun Conference. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and track & field.

Charlotte campus[edit]

JWU Charlotte teams participate as a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) as an independent. Men's sports include basketball and soccer, while women's sports include basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

Denver campus[edit]

JWU Denver teams participate as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Wildcats are a member of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Men's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, track (indoor/outdoor), and lacrosse, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, track (indoor/outdoor) and volleyball. Women's lacrosse is an affiliate member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

JWU Denver announced on February 21, 2017 that it would transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division III, a multi-year journey commencing with an "exploratory year" in Fall, 2017. The school plans to compete as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning with 2018-19 season, where it will pair up as a travel partner with the SCAC's Colorado College.[17]



Johnson & Wales University is planning future expansions to be complete in 2017.[19] This includes a plan dealing with new facilities in Providence and Miami, reducing student debt, hiring more faculty, among other things.

Notable alumni[edit]

Honorary doctorate recipients[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2015. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2016. 
  2. ^ "Johnson & Wales University, Providence Campus Fact Sheet" (PDF). JWU. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ About J&W
  5. ^ Roster of Institutions - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) Archived 2013-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "College of Business". Johnson & Wales University. 
  7. ^ "College of Culinary Arts". Johnson & Wales University. 
  8. ^ "The Hospitality College". Johnson & Wales University. 
  9. ^ "School of Arts & Sciences". Johnson & Wales University. 
  10. ^ "College of Culinary Arts". Johnson & Wales University. 
  11. ^ "Academic Services". Johnson & Wales University. 
  12. ^ "School of Education". Johnson &Wales University. 
  13. ^ "Us Universities Rankings". Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  14. ^ Radisson Hotel Providence Airport
  15. ^ J&W Denver Athletics | recreation
  16. ^ "New Wildcat Willie Revealed" (Press release). JWU. 2014. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  17. ^ "Johnson & Wales (Denver) Becomes Ninth SCAC Member". Southern Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  18. ^ Culinary Hall of Fame Induction
  19. ^ "The Centennial Plan: Making JWU Better for You". Johnson and Wales University. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Seafood Choices Alliance - Michelle Bernstein
  21. ^ "".  External link in |title= (help)
  22. ^ Archived 2007-06-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°49′12″N 71°24′46″W / 41.819953°N 71.412805°W / 41.819953; -71.412805