Mission Statement

The HOF exists to honor and recognize, and to extol and publicize the achievements of those Rhode Island men and women who have, in the words of the HOF induction citation, "made significant contributions to their community, state, and/or nation." It is also our mission to tell the story of Rhode Island History via interactive technology using the biographies of our inductees, noting their collective impact upon every phase of Rhode Island's development.

In the News

* Fund Raising Drive for new Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame more

* Bristol site selected for the new home of the State Hall of Fame more

* Ten Prominent Rhode Islanders to be inducted into the State Hall of Fame more

Featured Inductee

Noreen Stonor Drexel Noreen Stonor Drexel (1922 - 2012)
Inducted 2015
When Noreen Stonor Drexel accepted her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Salve Regina in 1999, she made a confession: She had never been to school. And she meant never. As a girl at her family's ancestral estate of Stonor Park in Oxfordshire, England, she had jumped on a horse and ridden away whenever she spotted the dust cloud of her tutor approaching —riding so much, in fact, that she came became a potential Olympic level equestrian.

Oddly, her lack of a formal education made her a strong advocate of public schools.  more >

Gov. Philip W. Noel Gov. Philip W. Noel (1931 - )
Inducted 2011
Phil Noel worked his way through Georgetown University Law School, first running an elevator, then in the U.S. Senate mailroom and eventually taking charge of the Senate's committee notice system, all under the patronage of Senator John O. Pastore.  more >

Vartan Gregorian (1934 - )
The President Takes the Bus

During his nine-year tenure as president of Brown University, from 1989 to 1997, on many occasions when Vartan Gregorian needed to get to Boston's Logan airport, he took the bus. Gregorian was making a point. Brown's faculty members and students traveled by bus, so he should, too.

“I took the job at Brown as a mission because it was struggling financially,” he says.  more >

Terrence Murray
Inducted 1990
The 1960s and 70s were grim years for the Rhode Island economy. Traditional and old-time industries and companies were leaving or closing. Organic economic growth was nil. Governor Phil Noel's surprise success in bringing submarine construction work from a Connecticut shipyard to abandoned U.  more >

Robert F Tasca (1926 - 2010)
Inducted 2001
1926 - 2010 Car Dealer and Philanthropist Extraordinaire In the 1960s the quality of cars coming off American manufacturers' assembly lines began to slip badly. Problems ranged from poor door fits, window leaks, wind noise and squeaks and rattles up to vibrations and drivability issues in the power train. The causes were shortcuts being taken on the lines to cope with increased costs of meeting government mandated emission controls and safety measures. In 1967 these problems prompted Henry Ford II come to Providence to visit Bob Tasca, long a Ford and now also a Lincoln-Mercury dealer.  more >

Alan Shawn Feinstein
Inducted 1995
Raising an Army to Fight Hunger

Have you ever been really hungry? Not just “when's dinner?” hungry but weak and in pain and desperate--not knowing when or how you could find food? On any given day, that's the condition of millions of people in this count alone, and 20 years ago Alan Shawn Feinstein set out to fight it.

He had the money. Through a remarkable combination of determination and good luck, he had gone from a middle-class life teaching in junior high school and writing a financial column in a small-circulation newspaper to starting a financial newsletter and building it into an immensely profitable business. His warning that gold and silver were overvalued three days before their prices crashed helped build the circulation to over 500,000.  more >

Royal Little (1896 - 1989)
Inducted 2012
“Roy, this idea won't work. But I'm going to back you. I'm going to let you make a mistake, and perhaps you'll learn from that mistake and get back to just running a textile business.”

It was 1952, and Royal Little's idea was to buy Burkart Manufacturing, a producer of cushioning materials for the automotive, and eventually, the furniture and bedding industries.  more >

Warren Alpert (1920 - 2007)
Inducted 2014
Pursuing Health to Benefit Society

“I wanted to be rich,' he told the Boston Globe very seriously in 1988, “so I could give my money away.”

That would all happen but not nearly as quickly has he might have hoped. He had graduated from BU in 1942, and by June 1944, he was a private first class in Army Intelligence aboard one of ships in the immense armada approaching the Normandy coast. But he was not to set foot in France.  more >

The Bosses of A. T. Cross

A father and two sons, three members of this extraordinary family, are in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.  more >

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