“The boat on the hill – that’s the Knight Campus as it sails across the landscape overlooking Route 95. And a boat is an appropriate metaphor for CCRI, although there are surely those who view the institution as securely anchored in Rhode Island. Yes, CCRI has built a tradition and it has provided the foundation to a better life for many Rhode Islanders. But, for me, it’s the flexibility of the institution and its people that are its greatest assets. CCRI is always on the move. CCRI responds to the needs of the time … The college has rightfully earned the reputation of listening to its community and appropriately answering with courses that enable young people to pursue the careers of their choice and displaced workers to find new jobs. CCRI is bringing people to places they want to be. A ship is also the appropriate analogy for those who turn to CCRI to learn new skills, just for the sake of learning. For them the college offers a cruise of discoveries.”
John I. Howell, Jr., former president of the Community College of Rhode Island Foundation, has been a staunch supporter of the education and the community college since 1984. As newspaper publisher and president of Southern Rhode Island Publications, which includes the Warwick Beacon and Cranston Herald, he has been the voice of the community for more than 35 years and has used his position time and again to promote sound educational goals and policy.
Before moving to Rhode Island, Howell worked in newspapers and political campaigns. He is a founder and past president of the Rhode Island Academic Decathlon, which conducts an annual academic contest at CCRI for the state’s 60 high schools. He also was founding president of the Warwick Chamber Education Foundation.
Howell holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from American University and has studied at LaSorbonne, Paris and Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.