Planning Brown’s 250th

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Overarching Charge

In 2011, the 250th Anniversary Steering Committee (see roster below), a broad-based committee of students, administrators, faculty and alumni was convened, charged with “overseeing the development and implementation of a range of activities, events, and materials to reflect and showcase the University’s distinctive history, character, culture, traditions, and future, engaging alumni, faculty, students, and their families, staff, and communities and partners here in Rhode Island and around the world.” The committee met regularly throughout the planning process and for the final time in December 2013, just prior to the launch of the 250th Anniversary.

Planning Priorities

  • Showcase Brown’s academic excellence and align to Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown
  • Build community, enhance external relations and profile
  • Be true to Brown’s past, explore Brown of today and imagine Brown of tomorrow
  • Representative of and inclusive of Brown’s diverse global community
  • Range from serious to whimsical; moment in time to lasting well beyond 250th concluding events

Key Dates

  • February 2011:  President and Corporation establish 250th Anniversary Steering Committee
  • May 2011:  Steering Committee initial meeting
  • December 2012:  250th Office is fully staffed
  • March 2013:  President announces 250th to global community (email)
  • January 2014:  250th web site launched (
  • March 7 - 8, 2014:  Opening Celebration, global events begin
  • May 23 - 25, 2014: Commencement Reunion 2014
  • Sept. 27 - 28, 2014:  Fall Celebration
  • October 24 - 26, 2014: Family Weekend
  • May 22 - 24, 2015:  Commencement Reunion 2015/Closing celebration

Calendar Overview

This pdf contains known events associated with the 250th Anniversary.

Grant Proposal Process

The 250th Anniversary had an extensive grant process which awarded grants to departments, centers, faculty, students, alumni, staff, students and the outside community for content that showcased the anniversary. Learn more.

Media Coverage

To view a listing of all press releases from Brown relating to the 250th Anniversary, please see this page.

Social Media Presence

The 250th Anniversary had a unique hashtag (#brown250), though also embedded itself into existing Brown University social media channels and accounts rather than establishing new channels.  For example, there was not a unique Facebook page started for the Anniversary; rather, 250th content was incorporated into the Brown University Facebook page.  For a summary of postings, see here.

250th Anniversary Staff

  • Eve F. Ornstedt, Executive Director, Office of the 250th Anniversary, Brown University
  • Kat U. Schott, Program & Operations Coordinator, Office of the 250th Anniversary, Brown University

250th Anniversary Steering Committee Tri-Chairs

  • Wendy J. Strothman ’72, LHD’08 hon., P’07, Trustee emerita, Fellow emerita, Corporation of Brown University
  • Ralph F. Rosenberg ’86, P’17, Trustee emerita, Corporation of Brown University
  • Russell C. Carey ’91, AM’06, Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy

250th Anniversary Steering Committee Members

  • Todd G. Andrews ’83, P’18, Vice President, Alumni Relations
  • Thomas F. Banchoff II ADE’70 hon., P’91, Professor of Mathematics
  • George H. Billings ’72, Trustee, Corporation of Brown University; Past President, Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors
  • Nancy L. Buc ’65, LLD’94 hon., Trustee emerita, Fellow emerita, Corporation of Brown University
  • Richard A. Fishman ADE’73 hon., P’89, Professor of Visual Art; Director, Creative Arts Council
  • Timothy P. Flanigan MD, Dean’s Professor of Medical Science; Professor of Medicine and of Health Services, Policy and Practice
  • Xochitl Gonzalez ’99, Past member, Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors
  • Jessica Hodgdon, Past Chair, President’s Staff Advisory Council
  • Nancy C. Hyde ’80, P’17, P’17, President, Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors; Trustee, Corporation of Brown University
  • Odest (Chad) Jenkins, Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Carl Kaestle ADE’98 hon., Professor emeritus, Department of Education
  • Lauren J. Kolodny ’08, Young Alumni Trustee emerita, Corporation of Brown University
  • Heather R. Lee AM’09, PhD’14, Graduate School student representative
  • Steven Lubar ADE’05 hon., Professor of American Studies, History, and History of Art and Architecture; Director, John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • Karen Newman ADE '86 hon., Owen Walker Professor of Humanities; Professor of Comparative Literature and English
  • Carle Pieters, Professor of Geological Sciences
  • Marisa Quinn, Vice President, Public Affairs and University Relations
  • Jim Sinai ’01, Class Treasurer; Member, Annual Fund Leadership Committee
  • Joan Wernig Sorensen ’72, P’06, P’06, Trustee, Corporation of Brown University
  • Noelle E. Spencer ’14, MD’18, Undergraduate student representative
  • Jennifer W. Tsai ’14, MD’18, Undergraduate student representative
  • Patricia R. Watson, Senior Vice President, University Advancement
  • Clay P. Wiske MD’14, Alpert Medical School student representative
  • Gordon S. Wood ADE’70 hon., LITD’10 hon., P’86GP’11, Professor emeritus, Department of History

250th Anniversary Sub-Committees*

  • Steering
  • Academic Forums & Events
  • Anchor Events
  • Community Engagement
  • Constituent Engagement (Alumni, Staff, Faculty, Students each had individual working groups within the sub-committee)
  • Identity & Theme
  • Memorabilia
  • Publications
  • Regional Events
  • Technology & Social Media

*Members of the Steering Committee typically chaired these sub-committees which also included non-Steering Committee members.

Logo and Style Guide

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