Countdown to 100

Countdown to 100

JWU Magazine 2011 Spring Count Down Equine 230x160

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.