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University, School of Law to Light up the Night at WaterFire

RWU sponsoring Saturday’s full lighting to celebrate a year of milestone anniversary celebrations and statewide community engagement
Photo by: John Nickerson
It takes a lot to prepare for WaterFire! On Tuesday evening, volunteers from the University joined the WaterFire team for a torch wrapping party.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The flames of knowledge will burn bright in the heart of Providence this Saturday, Sept. 28, as Roger Williams University and the RWU School of Law join WaterFire Providence for a full lighting to celebrate the many significant community initiatives and intellectual contributions that characterize the University’s presence in the Ocean State.

The RWU-themed lighting will also serve as a celebratory evening acknowledging an array of anniversaries – including the law school’s 20th anniversary, 40 years of expertise in marine biology and the statewide recognition of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter’s 350th anniversary.

WaterFire will kick off at sunset (6:34 p.m.) and feature a special Ring of Fire Torch Salute to ignite the cauldrons that pepper the Providence River from Waterplace Park to Memorial Park. In that lighting ceremony – shortly before 7 p.m. in the Waterplace Park Basin – 100 torch bearers representing the University will pass the flame and begin the process of lighting up Providence.

The University has arranged for transportation to and from WaterFire for any students, faculty or staff. Shuttles begin at 5 p.m. and leave from the Recreation Center. All drop-offs and pickups in Providence are on Exchange Street immediately behind Jacky’s Waterplace restaurant. A full shuttle schedule is available here.

The evening will include WaterFire traditions, including an arts festival on Washington Street, live music and cultural performances, and a number of guest stations where visitors can purchase luminaria candle lanterns and wish upon a star. Additionally, Roger Williams University and RWU Law will host a number of special events along the Riverway, including:

Roger Williams University Dance Theatre
6:00 p.m.
Waterplace Basin Stage

A free dance program featuring the Roger Williams University Dance Theatre will present “This Way Through,” choreographed by alumna Angie Conte; “Mandorla,” by alumna Jenny Rocha, with a solo performance by Leanne Smith ’11; and a prelude and interlude from alumna Christina Robson. University composer and resident accompanist, Michael DeQuattro, will provide the musical soundtrack.

Roger Williams University Showcase
5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Steeple Street

RWU and RWU Law will take over Steeple Street for an exposition of the University’s programs and achievements in academics and athletics, including family-friendly interactive exhibits and displays. Among many highlights will be:

  • A touch tank and exhibit celebrating 40 years of marine biology at RWU;
  • Robotics demonstrations by the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management;
  • Appearances by University mascot Swoop the Hawk;
  • RWU Law Celebrating 20 Years;
  • The “Supporting Our Troops and Veterans” presentation from the School of Continuing Studies;
  • Exhibits featuring the Latino Policy Institute at RWU with HousingWorks RI, the Community Partnerships Center, the University Library, the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, and the University’s new partnership with Samsung featuring the latest in cloud-based creative computing.

Clear Currents Presents Koi Fish on the River
7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Providence River

The RWU marine biology program will celebrate its 40th year by partnering with WaterFire’s hallmark clean water initiative, Clear Currents. Watch for members of the Roger Williams community on the water with glowing koi aboard their canoes and kayaks to highlight the importance of Rhode Island’s waterways and marine habitats.

RWU Dessert Reception
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Big Tent on Market Square

RWU faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends are welcome at a dessert reception to celebrate the many things that make RWU such a special place! Your entry ticket is your RWU apparel – or show an RWU ID card, or update your alumni information. Then mix and mingle before or after you walk the riverbanks, visit the tents, cross the Bridge of Stars and check out the special luminaria display in Memorial Park.

The Greybeards
9:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Providence River

RWU music professor Will Ayton along with Mike Shand and Glenn Guittari – otherwise known as The Greybeards – will perform Baroque classics by Handel and Bach on baroque flute, harpsichord and viola da gamba in a live concert along the river.

Look for #WaterFireRWU on Twitter (@myrwu) and Facebook, and use the hashtag to post your unique WaterFire experience and images. For more information, directions or parking information, visit or

WaterFire Providence is a non-profit arts organization that has creatively transformed the city for nearly two decades. Since its 1994 debut, artist Barnaby Evans’s unique flame-inspired cultural installation has attracted more than 10 million visitors and become a Rhode Island tradition. Roger Williams University and the Roger Williams School of Law are proud supporters of WaterFire Providence and its presence as a transformative cultural destination.