April 25, 2024 For Immediate Release
URI Student Receives Highest Honor from Rotary International
Tristan Halsey, a senior at the University of Rhode Island and President of the Universities’ Rotaract club was honored at a ceremony and reception on campus last week. In recognition of his leadership and contributions to community service, Tristan was named a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honor bestowed by Rotary International. 




Announcing Halsey’s award, Wakefield Rotary Co-President Donna Vignali, said, “Prior to Covid, there were six Rotaract clubs on college campuses in the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts area. Now there is only one, at URI. The fact that URI has a thriving Rotaract Club is mainly due to Tristan’s energy and his commitment to community service.” She then called on Tristan’s mother, Jennifer Halsey of Hampton Bay’s, Long Island NY, to present the Paul Harris award and fix the Paul Harris pin to her son’s jacket.Rotaract is an organization of college students affiliated with Rotary International and dedicated to community service. Under Tristan’s leadership, the URI Rotaract Club participated in annual food drives, a sock drive, the Coyote Run for charity, annual beach clean-ups, and the Veterans’ Day parade.
URI Vice President for Student Affairs, Ellen Reynolds, spoke about the value of college students giving back to the community. “Service is not just good for the community, but also good for you. The habits you form now will stay with you for a lifetime. The service you do now will help you become responsible citizens when you graduate.”  
Sharon Johnson, the District Governor-Elect for all Rotary clubs in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod, congratulated Halsey and the other Rotaract members, on their achievements. Johnson, of Scituate, RI, told the graduating seniors that she hoped they would continue their service activities by joining the Rotary clubs in the communities where they would be living.
The ceremony also included the installation of the new Rotaract Executive Board. Officers for the coming academic year will be President Emily Morgan, Vice President Grace Pereira, Secretary Hannah Altman, Treasurer Tyson Enes, and Project Coordinator Yolanda Di Giorgio.
The URI Rotaract Club is advised by members of the Rotary Club of Wakefield. More information is available at www.wakefieldrotary.org.