“I always considered myself fortunate to have been involved in the development of the Community College of Rhode Island. From a humble beginning of Rhode Island Junior College in a refurbished factory, to a system that now consists of multi campuses serving thousands of students every year, I take great personal pride in having had a part in the development and implementation of the system.”
John G. Marmaras’ contribution to the Community College of Rhode Island extends far beyond the college itself. His perseverance in developing the college’s first evening Continuing Education Program helped to change the lives of countless Rhode Island residents to whom the door of education would not previously have opened.
Marmaras began his tenure with CCRI in 1996 as assistant to the dean of vocational technical education, where he shared the responsibilities of developing and implementing the original programs of study in this area. In 1969, he was promoted to associate dean of that division, where he carried on his duties to foster growth in CCRI’s vocational technical division. He was promoted dean of continuing education in 1970, while retaining his second title and responsibilities in the vocational technical division.
As dean of continuing education, Marmaras developed a program of credit and non-credit courses that offered degrees to students on a part-time evening basis. This program allowed working Rhode Islanders the opportunity to improve their lifestyles through education without sacrificing their paychecks. He devoted his full responsibilities to the Continuing Education Department beginning in 1972, and gathered information from the Rhode Island community to help determine the academic needs of the people. He used that information to develop additional credit and non-credit courses that could be offered during the late afternoon and evening hours, and throughout the summer.
In 1978, Marmaras was named dean of off-campus credit programs at the college. In this position he worked to develop and maintain CCRI satellite campus locations throughout Rhode Island as well as maintain a link between the campuses and the community. He retired from CCRI in 1980.
Marmaras graduated from Rhode Island College with a bachelor’s degree in Education, and received a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut.