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Opening Celebration

On March 7–8, 2014, Brown kicked off its 250th anniversary with a spectacular cake, fireworks lighting up the College Green, lectures, lab tours, concerts, museum exhibitions and more!

Here are all of the events videotaped over those exciting two days.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank and 1982 graduate of Brown delivered the 87th Stephen A. Ogden, Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture and 250th Opening Celebration keynote address.

President Christina Paxson delivered Opening Celebration remarks and cut the first slice of the cake, created in the shape of University Hall.


Fireworks, synchronized to a compilation created from Brown Band recordings, illuminated University Hall and the College Green.

Brown student groups took the stage at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts to showcase their eclectic skills in dance.

At the Metcalf Research Building, Brown's singing/musical groups demonstrated the range of creative and artistic talent at Brown.

The Brown University Wind Symphony 250th Anniversary Concert featured the world premiere of Patrick Zimmerli's “Brownian Motion.”

Fall Celebration

Brown's 250th Fall Celebration

Brown 250 Fall Celebration

Brown University's 250th Anniversary Fall Celebration, Sept. 27-28, 2014, welcomed alumni and the campus community for a weekend of forums, campus, lab and gallery tours, student performances, a football game under the lights followed by a fireworks show and a great afternoon on the College Green, with music, art and other enjoyments.

Watson Center director Richard Locke moderated the Keynote & Watson Distinguished Lecture featuring US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez ’83.

Wendy Schiller, professor of political science and public policy, RI Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75, P’14 ’17; NH Governor Maggie Hassan ’80, P’15; Delaware Governor Jack Markell ’82; and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin P’14 participated in the President's Colloquium session called “Bridging the Great Divide: Politics, Polarization & Progress in 21st Century America.”

Journalist and author Alison Stewart ’88 led the colloquium entitled “Social Justice, Social Change: The Role of the Documentary,” with ​Director, Producer, and Writer Yoruba Richen ’94 and Filmmaker Betsy West ’73 P ’17.

The President's Colloquium called “ABCs, Bits, Bytes and MP3s: Technology and Its Impact on a Liberal Education” included Lynn Pasquerella Ph.D. ’85, President, Mount Holyoke College; Peter Norvig, Ph.D. ’78, P’16, Director of Research, Google, Inc.; Norman Atkins ’84, AM’10, P’10, P’14, Co-Founder and President, Relay Graduate School of Education; and Jose Estabil ‘84, ScM’88, Director, E&I, Skolkovo Tech /MIT Initiative and MIT Portugal Program. 

Melani Cammett ’91, Associate Professor of Political Science, moderated a discussion with Author Nathaniel Philbrick ’78, P’08; Professor of History Gordon Wood ADE’70 hon., LTD’10 hon., P’86, GP’11; and US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson ’81, P’14 about “Disagreement and Dissent: The Role of Revolution in Shaping Our World.” 

Center for Students of Color (formerly the Third World Center) Renaming Celebration

Center for Students of Color (formerly the Third World Center) Renaming Celebration

A renaming ceremony and community celebration of the Center’s work in Partridge Hall. After nearly 40 years, the Center continues to serve as a gathering place for communities of color to visualize, vocalize, and mobilize for social justice.

In Fall 2013, Brown invited the campus and global community to submit short videos of wishes to the University on the occasion of its 250th Anniversary. Hundreds of submissions were received from all over the world and this is the result.

Closing Celebration

President Christina Paxson delivered brief remarks at the end of the 2015 University Commencement Ceremony to mark the conclusion of Brown’s 250th Anniversary.

Author Ted Widmer, former director of the John Carter Brown Library, shared insights and surprises gathered while researching and writing a compelling and engaging new history of the country’s seventh oldest institution of higher education.

Graduates of the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs joined legendary Rhode Island band Roomful of Blues to perform the premiere of Alma Mater 250 in recognition of the end of Brown's semiquincentenary. The new arrangement was composed by Joseph (Butch) Rovan, professor and chair of the Department of Music, and included a rap by Sebastián Otero ’18. Curt Columbus, Artistic Director of the Trinity Repertory Company, provided the Stage Direction.