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If there is a common thread that weaves through the tapestry of Brown’s 250-year history, it is this: an innovative approach to education, driven by visionaries like Horace Mann, Class of 1819, America’s “Father of Public Schools.” Francis Wayland, Brown president from 1827—1855, advocated for a “new” curriculum in 1850. Ira Magaziner ’69 and Elliot Maxwell ’68 were architects of the open curriculum for which Brown became renowned. Brown’s approach to medical education is also unique: the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) is the only combined baccalaureate-MD program in the Ivy League.  And the five year Brown RISD Dual Degree Program draws on the complementary strengths of both institutions to provide students with a range of opportunities to develop and integrate academic and artistic work.

As a pioneer in higher education, Brown is committed to attracting and supporting the most talented students to campus. Through programs like the Sidney Frank Scholarships, Brown is one of a very small number of universities and colleges in America to accept first-year domestic students on a need-blind basis, and to meet their full demonstrated financial need. The Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program provides a pathway for the University to benefit from promising students who have had their path to formal education interrupted or delayed.  And the School for Professional Studies is building programs in executive education, among others, to support the demands of a changing economy and the interests of lifelong learners.

It is not only on campus that innovation has blossomed. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform partners with urban school districts nationwide to improve conditions and outcomes for traditionally underserved children. And in 2014, Brown’s compact with Tougaloo College celebrated its 50th year of student and faculty exchanges, collaborative research ventures and administrative engagements.

Creative Mind

These 250th Anniversary Conversations are an extension of interviews that Professor Richard Fishman is conducting as part of the Creative Mind Initiative (CMI), a program to develop innovative strategies for creative...

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During its 250-year history, Brown University has played a prominent leadership role in education in the United States. Presidents, faculty and alumni have helped to shape and influence teaching and learning from pre-...

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The internationalization of the University began well before its centennial. Geronimo Urmeneta, Class of 1835, came from Chile to study at Brown and was the first graduate from Latin America. He went on to become a...