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Another year, another vote on renaming CCRI Newport

M. Teresa Paiva Weed in 2011 when she was president of the Rhode Island Senate, with former speaker of the House Gordon Fox.Steven Senne/Associated Press

It has been exactly 11 months since the Rhode Island Senate voted to rename the Community College of Rhode Island’s Newport campus after former Senate president M. Teresa Paiva Weed, but the House declined to go along. So senators will try again today (weather depending).

It remains unclear if House leadership wants to take it up, or intends to use it as an end-of-session bargaining chip.

In the face of the House’s reluctance last year, Senate leaders even tried to attach it to a completely unrelated nursing home bill that was supported by the House, but the two chambers never came to a final agreement.


Paiva Weed, a Newport Democrat, was the first woman ever elected president of the Rhode Island Senate, holding the top leadership post from 2009 until her retirement in 2017 to become president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. She still holds the position, and is registered as a lobbyist for the organization.

The Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs voted unanimously to support the campus renaming on March 1.

CCRI’s other campuses are named after Royal W. Knight (Warwick), Dr. William F. Flanagan (Lincoln), and Edward J. Liston (Providence). Knight donated the land to build the Warwick campus, Flanagan was the first president of what was then known as Rhode Island Junior College, and Liston was the college’s second president.

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him @danmcgowan.