By: Associated Press

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BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) _ Roger Williams University says President Donald Farish has died at the age of 75.

The university said Farish died Thursday at Tufts Medical Center in Boston after a ``sudden and serious illness.''

Farish has served at the helm of the Bristol, Rhode Island school for seven years and was planning to retire when his contract expired next year.

Farish's five decades in academia also included a teaching stint at the University of Missouri. He later became president of Rowan University in New Jersey. 

Roger Williams University Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bready called Farish's presidency ``transformative.''

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline called Farish a great friend and wonderful mentor to students. The Democrat said: ``Rhode Island has lost one of its great education and civic leaders.''
 

© The Associated Press  /  WLNE-TV  2018