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New president takes over at Rhode Island College

Dr. Frank Sanchez was officially installed as the tenth president in Rhode Island College history during a formal inauguration ceremony on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (WJAR)

Dr. Frank Sanchez was officially installed as the tenth president in Rhode Island College history during a formal inauguration ceremony on Friday afternoon.

He takes over for the embattled Nancy Cariuolo, who left after many faculty, staff, and students said she drove a wedge through the campus community.

Sanchez said he is looking forward and wants to continue to build the state's first public institution of higher education into a national powerhouse.

"RIC will capitalize on our existing strength on the areas of inclusion by striving to ensure that all students have the cultural competencies and emotional agility to be successful in today's society," Sanchez said in his inaugural address in front of a packed auditorium inside Roberts Hall.

One of the distinguished guests on stage with the new president was Jose Rosario, the president of the RIC student community.

"We are in the midst of changing our campus community, or campus culture, and we're making sure that we are evolving," said Rosario.

The college has come a long way since current congressman and alum Jim Langevin attended.

"I was coming in and a young person asked me, 'Is this going to be like the swearing in of the President of the United States?’” Langevin told the crowd. "I said, 'I have a feeling we're going to like our guy a lot better.'"

Meanwhile, Sanchez promises a cutting-edge curriculum guided by new technology.

"Students are the lifeblood and inspiration for this college," Sanchez said at the end of his address.

During his speech, Sanchez announced a first family initiative, saying it will be the celebration of those students who are first in their family to graduate.

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