Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish, who transformed RWU into a vital institution devoted to community engagement, college affordability and equity, died on Thursday, July 5, at Tufts Medical Center, in Boston, after a sudden and serious illness. He was 75.​​

Farish, who became RWU’s 10th president in 2011, was planning to retire when his current contract expired in June 2019, culminating a remarkable 51-year career in academia.

During his seven years at RWU, he provided a vision for a modern university, aiming to “build the university the world needs now” and strongly positioning the university for its next phase of institutional growth. Throughout his tenure, he demonstrated a genuine love for students and a steadfast belief in the power of higher education to transform lives. He was a thought leader and a prolific writer, who used his presidential blog and essays to advocate for change in the U.S. model of higher education. Read more