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Carl R. Woodward Papers

Biographical note

Carl Raymond Woodward was born on a New Jersey farm in 1890, and began his educational career in a one-room rural school near his home. After graduation from Rutgers in 1914, and a year of teaching high school, he joined the staff of his alma mater. There he served in various positions, including five years as Secretary of the University, meanwhile earning a Ph.D. at Cornell. In 1941, he came to Rhode Island to accept the presidency of the growing Rhode Island State College at Kingston. Under his tenure, the college attained university status in 1950. He served as President until his retirement in 1958. He was awarded honorary doctorates by Brown University, Bryant College, Providence College, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island, as well as several universities outside the state of Rhode Island. Deeply attached to Rhode Island, Dr. and Mrs. Woodward retired to Myrtlewood, the home he built in Kingston. Woodward remained quite active during his retirement, publishing several articles, including "From College to University, 1941-1958 - A Summary Report by the Fifth President of the University of Rhode Island". Woodward lead the effort to save the original farm house, Watson House, from demolition in the early 1960s. The house was ultimately restored, furnished, and serves as a museum to this day. He also authored the book, Plantation in Yankeeland, and partially completed another, Boy With a Hoe, before succumbing to a heart attack on October 2, 1974, at the age of 84.


1890: Born July 20 at Tennent, Monmouth County, NJ

1906: Graduate from Freedhold High School

1906-1908: Worked on family farm

1908-1910: Taught in one room school, Monmouth County

1910-1914: Attended Rutgers University, majored in science and education

1914: Earned BS degree; taught in Rutgers summer school

1914-1915: Taught physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics at Madison High School in New Jersey

1915-1916: Editor and Librarian, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and College of Agriculture at Rutgers University

1916: Married Lulu A. Ryno, April 5th

1916-1927: Editor and Secretary, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and College of Agriculture at Rutgers University

1917: Carl R., Jr. born October 21st

1919: MA, Rutgers University; second child. Mildred Ryno born October 1st

1926: PhD, Cornell University

1920-1941: Held various positions at Rutgers.

1932: Third child, William Neste born July 2nd

1941: Appointed President of Rhode Island State College

1950: First President of University of Rhode Island

1958: Retires from URI

1963: In January $20,000 is raised to restore Watson House. The Board of Trustees pledged the additional restoration costs. Restoration and refurbishing of the house was completed in 1964.

1974: Dies October 2nd

See Also the Records of the Office of the President, Carl Woodward