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Brown University turns 250 and we’re all invited to the party!

Brown’s 250th Anniversary Opening Celebration weekend includes many family-friendly events, and Brown welcomes the community to participate! Most events are FREE of charge…

Brown’s 250th Anniversary Opening Celebration weekend includes many family-friendly events, and Brown welcomes the community to participate! Most events are FREE of charge (fee events are noted on the website).

View from Science Library

Early in 1764 “the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, in America” met to consider establishing the colony’s first college. In March, they approved what became the Charter of Brown University.

Two hundred and fifty years later, the Brown University community is inviting its Rhode Island neighbors and the global Brown family to celebrate a partnership that began more than a decade before the Declaration of Independence. The celebration begins with a two-day launch party, Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, 2014, and continues through the 2015 Commencement.

Friday, March 7 | Celebrate 250+: Fireworks, cake and lots to do
A variety of exhibitions and performances will take place between 5:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. A sampling of the many offerings (a full schedule and registration for events is available at the Imagine Brown 250+ website):

  • All galleries and exhibits will open at 5:00pm.
  • The University’s 250th cake, a massive confection in the shape of University Hall (1770, the University’s first building), will be served to all guests at 6:30 p.m. at the Faunce House Terrace on the College Green.
  •  The 250th anniversary fireworks will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. on the College Green.
  • Emerging artists exhibitions in the Granoff Center for Creative Arts;
  • Works by alumni artists in the David Winton Bell Gallery;
  • “In Deo Speramus: The Symbols and Ceremonies of Brown University” in the Haffenreffer Museum;
  • “Highlights from the Collection” in the John Carter Brown Library;
  •  A concert by the Brown Wind Symphony, including the world première of Brownian Motion, a work by Patrick Zimmerli commissioned for the 250th celebration, at 8 p.m. in the Salomon Center (doors open at 7:30pm);
  •  Student performances (dance, music, other performing arts) by more than 20 groups, at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts (Martinos Auditorium) and the Metcalf Research Building (Friedman Auditorium).

GatesConvoSaturday, March 8
The opening weekend continues with a day-long open house celebrating higher education and an invitation to the public to explore the University. There will be open laboratories, faculty demonstrations, tours of campus and the athletic facilities, lectures, galleries, performances, public discussions. The Nelson Fitness Center will be open during the day for use by Opening Celebration guests.

Open labs and tours
Opportunities for exploration and discovery will be offered in many corners of the campus representing many disciplines, led by Brown faculty, staff, students and community partners – a rover working on the surface of Mars, archaeological digs, modern dance, bats in flight, robots and drones, virtual reality, brain research, inside peeks at the Alpert Medical School clinical and anatomy labs, dance demonstrations and classes, magical physics presentations, aerodynamics of paper airplanes, hands on demonstrations by RIMOSA and much more (a full schedule is available at the Imagine Brown 250+ website).

Galleries and exhibits
The gallery exhibitions continue on Saturday along with a variety of other tours and events (a full schedule is available at the Imagine Brown 250+ website), including:

  • Architectural and historical walking tours of campus;
  • Tours of the Alpert Medical School and a research presentation on concussions in athletes
  • Sessions at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage;
  • Sessions about the collections at the AnnMary Brown Memorial;
  • Men’s basketball versus Harvard (7 p.m., Pizzitola Center), with T-shirt giveaways, other features, and a special 250th halftime program;
  • A performance of “Passing Strange” at the Sock & Buskin Theater (8 p.m., Stuart Theater).
  • A variety of apparel, blankets, souvenirs, and other objects bearing the Brown 250 logo will be available in the Brown Bookstore beginning March 7, 2014.

Further Details

  • Most events are free of charge (fee events are noted on the website).
  • Some require tickets due to limited seating (indicated on the website).
  • All University lots will be open for parking on Friday evening and Saturday (see Campus Map for details, http://brown.edu/Facilities/Facilities_Management/docs/PAUR_Campus_Map.pdf).
  •  A shuttle will loop from campus to the Alpert Medical School for programming at 222 Richmond Street.
  • Printed brochures for the Opening Celebration will be available at all major venues throughout the weekend, including the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, 75 Waterman Street.
  •  Contact brown250@brown.edu with any questions.


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