As JWU nears the century mark, share in
our enthusiasm and pride as we recount our
university’s rich and vibrant history.
As the 1970s drew to a close, Johnson & Wales College’s enrollment
was second in the state only to that of the University of
Rhode Island. Convocations and commencements had to be
held at Ocean State Performing Arts Center.
The year 1980 ushered in the launch of the equine program.
Then University President Morris Gaebe ’98 Hon.,
and colleague Col. John McNulty ’89 Hon., loved horses and
diligently conducted surveys to garner interest and assess the
viability of a one-year certificate course. By year’s close, they
developed a two-year college-level program, and J&W’s Center
for Equine Studies was opened at Journey’s End, a 100-acre
farm complex in Scituate, RI. Students specialized in equitation
or farm management combined with business courses and
general studies to earn an associate in science degree. In the
same year, the State of Rhode Island granted Johnson & Wales a
charter to award advanced degrees.
During the 1980s, J&W made significant strides in carving
out its niche as a leader in career education. The college
focused on offering students programs that were not available
at traditional liberal arts schools. Concepts like “upside-down
curriculum” and “four-day week” were marketed. The first
allowed students to take courses in their major from day
one, and the latter allowed students to work on Fridays and
weekends when the demand was greatest in the food service
industry. It also allowed students to offset their tuition costs
and gain critical experience for their résumés.
Image top: Beth Beukema and Morris Gaebe at the Center for Equine Studies. Beukema
joined as an equine academic instructor in 1982 and still serves as department chair and associate professor for this acclaimed boutique program.