Friday, June 19, 2009

A Bit About Brown University

Last summer as well as autumn, I went to Brown University for a leadership program. For two weeks I explored, learned, and stepped up to make my own decisions as I walked around Providence, Rhode Island. It was very fun and it was also a great experience as I met with new faces and strong future leaders from all around the world.

Brown University was founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and it was located in Warren, Rhode Island. It was in 1770 that the college moved to College Hill, one of six neighborhoods that make up the East Side of Providence. (It is also its current location today.) Nicholas Brown gave way to the name Brown University in 1804 due to his strong support. The college itself has a very diverse and independent nature. Based on the principals of founder Roger Williams, Brown was the very first college in the nation to accept students without concerns of religious memberships. It stands today as the third-oldest institution in New England and the seventh oldest in the United States!

Brown began as an all male school with Pembroke College as the women’s college. It was not until 1971 that the two colleges merged to form the coeducational institution it is today. With thirty-seven Varsity athletic teams, 17 for men and 20 for women, Brown has the largest athletic program for women in the nation! The president of the university, Ruth J. Simmons, also stands to be the first permanent female president there. She is the first African American and second female president of an Ivy League institution. At Brown, one will meet a variety of people, all whom have a common feature of hitting the books.

The main academic features of Brown comprises of the College, the Graduate School, and Alpert Medical School. In the College, there are about 80 fields offered with Biology, History and International Relations being the most popular. It has the oldest undergraduate engineering program in the Ivy League and also the only school to have a major in the History of Math! However adding to the independent ways of Brown, if a student cannot find a certain concentration of interests, they are allowed to design their own! The Graduate school offers 8 different master’s degrees and over 40 subjects for Ph.D. degrees. The Alpert Medical School is one of seven Ivy League medical schools and this year by U.S News and World Report, it is ranked 34th for research and 29th for primary care. For international studies, the Watson Institute for International Studies is the organizer. The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women was also established in honor of the Pembroke College.

There are eight libraries at Brown that hold more than six million items! I was able to visit the Science Library, which towered about 12-14 stories high! I visited a great museum close by too, but the name escapes me though. I walked along the famous Thayer Street, which reminded me a lot of Solano or Berkeley. I went to malls, classrooms, research institutes, shops, restaurants and Boston! This time going to Columbia I hope to get to visit all these types of places and more. The Big Apple! I need to do a bit more research, but I wonder what type of impression it will have on me this summer!

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


A nice bit of background on Brown. It was a nice touch reading of your own personal observations from when you attended earlier.

I have to wonder about that time back in 1804 when Mr. Brown endowed the school whether there were strings attached (and thus the name change) or whether the trustees thought up the name change independently.

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