RWU launches new real estate program lead by Richard Godfrey


Courtesy of RWU

Richard Godfrey is leading RWU’s new real estate program, funded by gifts and donations.

Roger Williams University has announced the launch of an interdisciplinary Real Estate Program to be spearheaded by new faculty member Richard Godfrey who will be the inaugural Executive Director.

Godfrey comes to RWU with years of experience in a variety of positions.

“I have been fortunate to work in and around many different types of real estate activities,” said Godfrey. “I have worked as a project manager, lawyer, planner, financier and financial advisor and have worked at local, state and national levels, in very small towns and in some of our largest and most complex cities.”

This variety of experiences, Godfrey said, has prepared him well to help build an educational program that explores and addresses the vast array of real estate interactions.

The new real estate program is utilizing several fields of study to try and provide a similar variety of experiences. The disciplines being implemented include architecture, historic preservation, business, law and policy, engineering, construction management and potentially others.

Godfrey said designing the program this way will, “build an expansive and multi-disciplinary skill set for our students that will make them successful in the interconnected real estate business and related professions.”

Combining his unique professional background with others at the university who are experts in academic and professional training Godfrey believes, “will create an outstanding interdisciplinary curriculum that will allow graduates to pursue careers in the many professional fields related to real estate.”

In his time during real estate Godfrey said the greatest lesson he has learned during real estate is the importance of teamwork.

“The greatest lesson that I have learned is that by working together and respecting each other, regardless of circumstance, we can make the world work better for us all,” said Godfrey.

The program will also address relevant social and environmental issues.

“With our real estate program, we are also able to design programs that foreground our institutional values of social justice and sustainability, from how to build sustainably with climate change and sea-level rise in mind, to the socioeconomic and racial justice issues that arise from persisting housing inequities,” said Godfrey.
Some goals Godfrey said he has with the program include enhancing and increasing academic options for students interested in real estate, attracting students from the university’s different schools, and “providing students with the knowledge, skills, practice and inspiration to create a more sustainable, resilient and just intersection of our built and natural environments.”

Educating students who will not make real estate their profession is important to Godfrey as well. “We also want non-professionals to have general knowledge about Real Estate in their personal lives and whatever profession they choose to pursue.”

Director of Communications and Media Relations Jill Rodrigues said funding for the program came from gifts and pledges. “RWU has received nearly $600,000 in gifts and pledges to ensure a successful build out and launch of the Real Estate Program,” said Rodrigues. “These funds made the executive director’s position possible and also are providing the operating funds to design the curriculum until it begins to enroll certificate and degree students in the semesters ahead.”

Godfrey said he will try to bring funds to the program as well.

“I will also work with the administration side of the University to attract funds that will ensure that the Real Estate Program is not simply self-sustaining but will also support other areas of the university community.”

Godfrey looks forward to passing along his unique experience and helping others.

“I am thrilled to be able to pass along my own experience that proves that, working together, we can make lives better, maybe not for everyone, but for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families over many generations,” said Godfrey.