The president of Roger Williams University has died.
The school posted the news on their website Thursday afternoon, reporting that Donald Farish passed away due to a sudden and serious illness.
“As our 10th president, he truly transformed this University, leading us forward in community engagement, college affordability and equity,” according to the post. “Along the way, he demonstrated a genuine love for students and a steadfast belief in the power of higher education to transform lives. More than that, he was a thoughtful, wise and caring friend who we will miss greatly.”
In a press release, the school stated that Farish, “who transformed RWU into a vital institution devoted to community engagement, college affordability and equity,” died at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He was 75 years old.
In May, Farish announced that he would be stepping down next June after five years with the university.
He had a long career in education, which spanned 51 years.
“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.”
While funeral services are yet to be announced, the school said they will be holding “a time for quiet reflection and coming together as a community” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center at the University Library on the Bristol campus, as well as from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday in School of Continuing Studies Room 213 on the Providence campus.