Brown: A Timeline

Brown: A Timeline


  • Visit by President George Washington

    While the second day of the President’s visit was devoted to speeches and addresses, it was the evening of his arrival that was, perhaps, most memorable. After sailing from Newport, he landed in Providence to a greeting of “discharge of...


  • Enrollment Passes 100 Students

    The number of students enrolled in the College grew steadily in the late 1700s, reaching 107, as listed in the first printed Catalogue of the Officers and Students, in 1800. The names of the students and their home states were...

  • Third President: Asa Messer

    Asa Messer, Class of 1790, served in a variety of functions at the College including tutor, librarian and professor of both “learned languages” and “natural philosophy” before being named first president pro tempore and, finally, president...



  • First Student Publication

    Launched in the summer of 1829, the Brunonian was Brown’s first student publication. Before it finally folded in 1918, the publication had evolved from literary magazine to chronicler of campus life to critique and finally,...


  • The Greeks Arrive

    As fraternities began to populate American campuses in the 1830s, Brown was no exception. Alpha Delta Phi established a chapter in 1836, followed by Delta Phi in 1838, and Psi Upsilon in 1840, with many more to follow, despite disapproval...


  • “A Hundred Times the Bells of Brown”

    Occurring in the midst of the Civil War, Brown’s centennial celebration was subdued, but still “interesting and impressive” according to historian Walter Bronson. Spectators enjoyed a review of the University’s history by President Sears, a...




  • Sock and Buskin Theater Company Founded

    Unique among college companies for its faculty-staff collaboration, Sock and Buskin was formed in 1901 by English Professor Tom Crosby, Class of 1894. The name derived from the Greek dramatic genres: Comedy (represented by the soccus...



  • The Brown Jug Debuts

    Brown’s first humor magazine, the Brown Jug, was published from 1920 until 1933. Editor S. J. Perelman, Class of 1925, went on to be a noted humorist, penning scripts for the likes of the Marx Brothers and writing for the New...

  • Pembroke Record Founded

    Pembroke College’s student newspaper was published from 1922 to 1970. Known initially as The Record, “Pembroke” was added in 1931 after the change in name of the Women’s College.

  • Brown Band Founded

    Although there were informal bands that played at campus occasions prior to 1924, it was Irving Harris, Class of 1928, who organized what would become the Brown Band. The resourceful Harris borrowed some drums stored on campus by...

  • Enrollment Passes 2,000

    In the Fall of 1925, just a decade after passing 1,000 students, Brown began the year with more than 2,000 students for the first time. Of these, 604 were women and 1,465 were men.

  • Women’s College Renamed

    In 1928, the Women’s College was renamed Pembroke College in Brown University. The chosen name made sense, given that the College was informally called Pembroke in reference to the name of its main building (Pembroke Hall). However, some...

  • Legendary Professor Does Not Give Lecture

    Although the note on the University Hall bulletin board promised a lecture by one J. S. Carberry, the presentation did not take place. Josiah Stinkney Carberry, the immediately legendary “Professor of Psychoceramics” (cracked pots), would go...



  • Brown in World War II

    As the United States was drawn into war again, Brown re-initiated training of Army and Navy men on the campus. The University undertook year-round operations and accelerated programs to provide the educated personnel needed for the war...

  • Veterans College Established

    After World War II, veterans eligible for college studies under the G.I. Bill flooded America’s universities. Brown was no exception. Beginning as the Veterans Extension Division, the program admitted 486 of 1400 applicants. Speaking at...


  • Brown NAACP Chapter Founded

    In 1955, the Brown chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded. The activities of the co-ed group included voting drives, leafleting, fundraising and, in 1962, the picketing of a local Howard...




  • Third World Coalition Protest

    On March 13, 1985, over 300 students rallied on the Green to protest institutional racism at Brown. Five weeks of protests followed, led by the Third World Coalition. Students protested that the University had not followed through on...

  • Center for Public Service Founded

    Brown’s Center for Public Service was founded in 1986 to support the integration of public service into the educational experience at Brown. One of the first centers of its kind in the nation, it connected students to community partners in...


  • Female Enrollment Passes Male

    In the Fall of 1994, the number of women attending Brown exceeded the number of men for the first time, with 3,714 female and 3,672 male students. This approximate gender ratio has continued through the admitted undergraduate class of 2018...

  • Women’s Basketball Wins Title

    In 1994, Women’s Basketball Coach Jean Burr’s team won the Ivy League title and the first automatic bid for an Ivy to participate in the NCAA main bracket.


  • First Annual Pow Wow

    The first annual Pow Wow at Brown was organized with support from the Third World Center and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. The intertribal event attracted over 1,000 people in one afternoon. The following year, the Pow Wow...


  • Slavery Memorial Dedicated

    In September 2014, in conjunction with the 250th Anniversary Fall Celebration, a sculpture by American artist Martin Puryear was installed on the Front Green, just in front of Manning Hall.  The installation of the sculpture was a project...