Explore Providence

Life in the Creative Capital

Crowd gathered at the Waterplace Park amphitheatre

Founded in 1636, Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States. With its colorful mix of historic and modern architecture, the Creative Capital offers a college-town feel with a city’s thriving concert, arts and theater scene — think big city on a welcoming scale.

Cultural Hotspot + True College Town
Readers of Travel + Leisure have ranked Providence as “America’s Favorite City.” Other accolades include:

  • Top 10 Best New Food City by Jetsetter
  • Best City for Foodies and Night Owls by Travel + Leisure
  • 15 Cities for Creative 20-somethings by Huffington Post
  • Top 7 Cities for Pizza by Huffington Post
  • Best Small City by Architectural Digest

And with more than 30,000 college students living in the city, it’s also the ultimate college town. The city is diverse and welcoming, with lots of collegiate and cultural events to participate in.

A River Runs through It
Providence is located at the head of Narragansett Bay, with the Providence River running into the bay through the center of the city.

Waterfire, one of the city’s signature events, lights up the Waterplace Park riverwalk that lines the river's banks through downtown.

Providence Waterfire

Tour Providence Neighborhoods
Providence has 25 official neighborhoods, many of which are a quick walk from our Downcity Campus:

  • East Side: Home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), as well as the unique shops and restaurants along Thayer, Hope and Wickenden streets.
  • Jewelry District: This former industrial area has become the Knowledge District, the city’s medical-education corridor. It’s where you’ll find JWU’s Center for Physician Assistant Studies, Brown’s Alpert Medical School and our new academic building, set to open in 2016.
  • Federal Hill: Italian markets, restaurants and bakeries line historic Atwells Avenue.
  • West Side: Also known as the Armory District. Home to an eclectic group of restaurants (including alum-run spots like Nicks on Broadway, North and North Bakery), bars, coffee shops and markets.

Art, Music + Theatre
The city is filled with art and entertainment, from live music venues to big screen multiplexes, small art house cinemas and an IMAX.

You can walk to 4 of the Downcity Arts District’s performing arts centers from campus:

  • Trinity Repertory, New England’s oldest theater company
  • Providence Performing Arts Center, for touring Broadway productions, comedians and concerts
  • Veterans Memorial Auditorium, for dance, classical and standup
  • AS220, a nonprofit community arts center that includes unjuried performance spaces, galleries, digital and fabrication labs and live/work spaces for artists

Sports + Recreation
Providence is home to AHL hockey team The Providence Bruins, as well as the Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots play just a short drive away, in Foxborough, Mass.

Landmark City, Close to NYC
Providence is just 45 minutes from Boston, Cape Cod and Newport and a quick 3-hour trip from New York City.

Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island has 400+ miles of coastline with 100 beaches. The state has 20% of the nation's registered landmarks, most of them in Providence and Newport, which is known as the sailing capital of the world.

This is New England, so expect snow and rain. On the plus side, summers are sunny and warm.

  • Summer average temp: 72°F
  • Winter average temp: 30°F

Sunset over the Pell Newport Bridge

Welcome from our Campus President

Greetings from JWU Providence Campus President Mim RuneyIt is my honor to welcome you to Johnson & Wales University’s Providence Campus — the oldest and largest of our 4 campuses.

For more than 100 years, we’ve been transforming the dreams of career-minded students into reality.

Through our academically rigorous, industry relevant and experientially-based programs, we’re developing tomorrow’s industry and civic leaders.

Providence is a truly vibrant and cultural city with a small town feel and all the charms of New England. These elements make Providence an attractive place to live, work and visit.

I’ve been a part of the JWU community since 1988, and I am proud of our commitment to educational excellence that inspires professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth.

I invite you to visit and learn more about our dynamic campus and commitment to excellence.

Mim L. Runey, LPD
Providence Campus President
Chief Operating Officer

Quick Facts: Providence Campus

Our Providence Campus fact sheet provides a quick summary of Johnson & Wales University’s mission, strategic plan and key facts and numbers relevant to the entire JWU community.

Providence Campus Fact Sheet (260K PDF)

Campus Leadership

In addition to the leadership of Providence Campus President Mim Runey, Johnson & Wales University is led by a dynamic group of senior administrators.

University Cabinet
Mim L. Runey, LPD, Providence Campus president and chief operating officer
Marie Bernardo-Sousa, ’92, MS, LPD, senior vice president of administration
Diane H. D’Ambra, ’05, BS, vice president of human resources
Thomas L.G. Dwyer, university provost and vice chancellor
Joseph J. Greene, ’89, ’98 MS, treasurer and chief financial officer
Robin Krakowsky, EdD, Denver Campus president
Robert C. Mock, Jr., EdD, Charlotte Campus president
Larry A. Rice '90 EdD, North Miami Campus president

Students Say...

Providence is a real college town. It’s diverse and welcoming.

It’s easy to get around, and there’s so much to do here.