As JWU nears the century mark, share in our enthusiasm and pride as we recount our university’s rich and vibrant history.The 1960s was an ambitious decade for Johnson & Wales, and one of great transition. Declared a junior college of business in June 1960 by the Accrediting Commission for Business Schools in Washington, D.C., this milestone enhanced the institution’s academic reputation. Co-directors Edward Triangolo ’80 Hon. and Morris Gaebe ’98 Hon. focused on broadening curriculum to meet growing demand from students and industry.
With increasing enrollment and resident students, the school was outgrowing the rented Gardner Building. The 1962 purchase of the prestigious Providence Plantations Club overlooking Abbott Park was an early example of Johnson & Wales’ commitment to establishing a presence in the heart of the city and to thoughtful renovation.
Current Chairman of the Board John A. Yena ’06 Hon. joined the group in 1962. Like core administrators and faculty, Rena Troiano ’48, ’79 Hon., Barry Smith, Louise Burrell, John Hubert ’55, Joan Metcalf ’58, Cecilia Ranallo, Emilio Capomacchio, John Russell and Beulah Dixon, he upheld the credo of “students come first.”
Not unlike today, in 1963 affordability was on the minds of university leadership. Under the counsel of school attorney, Christopher Del Sesto, Johnson & Wales pursued the benefits of the Higher Education Act, and leveraged federal aid, giving deserving students unable to afford higher education, the opportunity to graduate and launch a career.In 1964, 142 graduates made history receiving the first associate degrees. Only half-way through the decade, even more significant changes were to come, paving the way to the strong university we know now.