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Retired professor Humble earns induction into Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame

HumbleApril 19, 2022

Retired Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Roberta Mudge Humble of Warwick is one of nine inductees in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

Established in 1965, the Heritage Hall of Fame 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 Hall of Fame induction citation, "made significant contributions to their community, state, and/or nation." With nearly 800 members, the Heritage Hall of Fame tells the story of Rhode Island history via interactive technology using the biographies of its inductees while noting their collective impact upon every phase of Rhode Island's development.

Humble, who is also an author and the Founding President of Westerly Armory Restorations, Inc., joins an elite list of Rhode Island royalty in the Heritage Hall of Fame, including Rhode Island’s founder, Roger Williams; former U.S. Senator John O. Pastore; Governor Theodore Francis Green; legendary broadcaster Salty Brine; and J. Arthur Trudeau, a pioneer in the support of those with intellectual disabilities in Rhode Island and across the nation.

“It’s a great honor to be sandwiched between Roger Williams and Salty Brine,” Humble said. “This is the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, and Rhode Island has the deepest heritage of any state in the nation.”

The Class of 2022 also includes: restaurateur, boxing referee, international judge, and promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr.; founder of the Independence Trail Educational Foundation Robert I. Burke; businessman and developer Arnold Buffum Chace Jr.; former Speaker of the House John B. Harwood; former Board of Trustees of Rhode Island Hospital chair Dr. Edward A. Iannuccilli; Providence Journal reporter Mark Patinkin; civic leader and philanthropist Stanley Weiss; and former professional boxer Wilfred W. Greene. 

This year’s 57th annual induction ceremony will be held Sunday, May 1 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick beginning at 5 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at riheritagehalloffame.com or by phone at 401-273-1787.

Born in Westerly, RI, Humble earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Rhode Island and taught Technical Writing and Oral Communications at CCRI from 1970–2017. She also earned an additional 45 credits beyond her master’s at Oxford and Edinburgh universities and both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air War Colleges. In addition to developing textbooks for each course, Humble has also written and developed 18 books and games on Rhode Island history and culture, including The Historic Armories of Rhode Island, a children’s book entitledRhode Island’s Friendly Faces, The RIght to Crow:  A Look at RI’s Firsts, Bests, & Uniques, and Rhode Island for the Native and the Naïve.

In 1992, Humble formed a nonprofit, the Westerly Armory Restoration, Inc., to restore and maintain the historic Westerly Armory for ongoing use by the community. The Armory is a museum of both community and local military memorabilia as well as home to America's oldest active community band, The Westerly Band. Eight years later, Humble co-authored her first book, The Historic Armories of Rhode Island, with the late Howard F. Brown, a pictorial of the state’s 18 armories.

Humble has also served on the Board of Directors of the Warwick Historical Society since 2017 and holds numerous awards and honors, among them the Feinstein Merit Award for Outstanding Community Service by the RI Foundation in 2003, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission’s 2001 Education & Advocacy Award, and the Silver Good Citizenship Medal from National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 2018.

At CCRI, Humble taught Technical Writing and Oral Communications to a variety of students, including firefighters, engineers, nurses, and even dental assistants. She is proud of her impeccable attendance for more than four decades and her correspondence with past students who remain grateful for the lessons learned inside the classroom.

“That, among everything, makes you feel the most accomplished,” Humble said. “Technical writing in particular is a very useful skill, and I’ve always enjoyed teaching it. I’m proud of the students who go on to achieve great things and take a moment to let us know how they’re doing.

“CCRI is one of the best resources our state has to offer. Many will graduate and go on to do great things, but the one thing it will provide for every student is an opportunity, and that’s all you can hope for.”

Humble enjoys antiques and refinishing, history, writing, college basketball, American automobiles, armory restoration, and her six domestic birds; her interest in the latter led to her membership in the Rhode Island Audubon Society, the National Audubon Society, and the Cornell Ornithological Society. She is also Past Commander of the Military Order of Foreign Wars and a member of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery and the Naval War College Foundation.

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