RWU Remembers Former President Natale A. Sicuro

Sicuro, who died Dec. 20, served as president of Roger Williams College from 1989-1993, leading name change to Roger Williams University and helping to launch law school

Natale A. Sicuro on the Roger Williams College campus.
Public Affairs

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Natale A. Sicuro, the Roger Williams College president who led the name change to Roger Williams University and helped launch the RWU law school, died on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Seattle after a brief illness. He was 83.

Sicuro served as Roger Williams president from 1989-1993. In 1989, he initiated the Roger Williams Plan for the 90s. He appointed a blue-ribbon exploratory committee that in 1991 recommended the establishment of Roger Williams law school, which had its first students convene in fall 1993. And in 1992, he led the name change of Roger Williams College to Roger Williams University.

“Every president is responsible for advancing the interests of the institution and improving its reputation, and President Sicuro did that by overseeing the development of the law school and converting the institutional status from college to university,” RWU President Donald J. Farish said.

“President Sicuro was an important member of the group that had the vision to imagine a law school in Rhode Island and the talent to make it a reality,” RWU School of Law Dean Michael J. Yelnosky said. “My colleagues and I are grateful for that work and hopeful that he was proud of what the law school has become.”

Sicuro was born in 1934 in Warren, Ohio, according to an obituary in the Jan. 7 Tribune Chronicle. He received a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the first-ever doctoral degree awarded by Kent State University. He served as president of Southern Oregon University and Portland State University before coming to Roger Williams in 1989.