R 054
2017 -- S 0241
Enacted 02/14/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Paiva Weed, Ruggerio, McCaffrey, Doyle, and Lombardi
Date Introduced: February 14, 2017

     WHEREAS, The Right Reverend Matthew D. Harkins, D.D., Bishop of Providence, in
the hope of founding a Catholic college in the city, first petitioned the Dominican Order to
establish a college in Providence in 1910 and, on November 24, 1910, the Provincial Council of
the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, which includes Rhode Island, approved that request; and
      WHEREAS, Father Matthew L. Haegen, O.P., the Dominican Provincial of the Province
of St. Joseph, wrote to Father Hyacinthe Cormier, O.P., the Master of the Dominican Order, on
January 7, 1911, to report the Provincial Council's acceptance of the Bishop's offer to found a
college, asking that this endeavor be postponed for a few years until the Province had enough
priests and professors to handle the task; and
     WHEREAS, Bishop Harkins, acting on the advice of the new Provincial, Father James
Raymond Meagher, O.P., wrote a formal invitation attached to a letter to Father Meagher, dated
October 9, 1915, a communication which is considered the classic document of the origin of
Providence College. This communication included maps showing the exact location of eleven
acres of land for the college and a promise from the Bishop of $10,000 in scholarships for the
college; and
     WHEREAS, The Dominican Intermediate Chapter, at their meeting in Washington, D.C.,
on October 11, 1915, voted to accept the Bishop's offer of the land and scholarships; and
     WHEREAS, World War I delayed the founding of the college due to the November 8,
1915, sinking of the ship which had left Naples, Italy, and was headed for New York City, and
which was carrying the stamped, formal approval from the Master of the Order to move forward
in establishing the college; and
     WHEREAS, Father Meagher informed Bishop Harkins on January 29, 1916, that the
Province had permission to start a college in Providence; and
     WHEREAS, On January 18, 1917, Providence State Representative John I. Devlin
introduced a bill of petition in the Rhode Island General Assembly, and a revised bill passed the
House of Representatives unanimously on February 2nd, followed by approval from the State
Senate on February 6th; and
     WHEREAS, R. Livingston Beeckman, then Governor of Rhode Island, signed the bill
into law on February 14, 1917, making Providence College an official corporation in the eyes of
the State of Rhode Island with a charter granted by the State; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby congratulates Providence College and its President, Reverend Brian J. Shanley, O.P., on
the occasion of the college's Centennial anniversary and wishes them continued success over the
next century; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Father Shanley, O.P., President of Providence