On February 14, 2017 Providence College celebrated the centennial of the signing of its charter. In honor of the event Phillips Memorial Library’s Special and Archival Collections event created an exhibit highlighting the charter’s history. Photos of the exhibit are presented here.
On Jan. 18, 1917, Providence State Rep. John I. Devlin introduced a bill of petition in the Rhode Island General Assembly to grant the establishment of a new College within the City of Providence. Gov. R. Livingston Beeckman (an Episcopalian) signed the bill into law on Feb. 14, 1917, making Providence College an official corporation in the eyes of the State of Rhode Island with a charter granted by the state.
The College opened its doors to students in September, 1918, with Rev. Dennis A. Casey, O.P. as the College’s first president. Father Casey had served as president of Aquinas College in Columbus, Ohio, prior to coming to Providence in 1916. He was, in the words of Father Meagher, “a builder and not a scholar.” Father Casey served as president of Providence College and also as pastor of St. Pius V Parish. He also taught Latin in the College’s first year.