Founders Day events

Founders Day is a new spring tradition honoring the birth of RISD as an institution, incorporated on March 22, 1877. Since its founding, RISD has challenged expectations and pushed the boundaries of creative learning. To honor this resilient spirit, RISD faculty, staff, students and alumni are encouraged to join in the celebration of Founders Day by participating in events and service activities locally, nationally and globally that reflect on those who have contributed to our legacy as well as honor the work and dedication of our community.

Community Breakfast
Wednesday, March 20
20 Washington Place, lobby, 8–9:30 am

The official Founders Day kick-off event, the Community Breakfast will celebrate RISD’s history and legacy as a leader in the art and design community, and honor the role that students, faculty, staff, alumni and others have played in carrying forward the institution’s mission.

RSVP for breakfast here.

Days of Service
Saturday, March 16 (for students)
Wednesday, March 20 (for faculty and staff)
Volunteer shifts from 10 am–noon and 1–3 pm at various locations

In honor of community-minded founders Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf and the members of the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission, RISD students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in service projects at various nonprofit and community organizations throughout Providence. Transportation will be provided and participants will get a free t-shirt for taking part.

RISD students, faculty and staff, please visit here to register. 

For alumni who would like to organize a day service in their own region, please visit here.

Food Drive
Monday, March 18–Friday, March 22
Campuswide, ongoing

Bring non-perishable food items to campus, to be donated to the Rhode Island Food Bank. Donation bins will be located at 20 Washington Place, the Met Refectory, 123 Dyer, Portfolio Café and Carr Haus. You can also donate RISDbucks or cash at the Met or Portfolio Cafe cash registers for much-needed RI Food Bank staples.

Friday, March 22

various locations on and off campus

Event Type

Community Service, Special Event, Alumni Event


President’s Office



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