“These studies fortify one’s youth, delight one’s old age; amid success they are an ornament, in failure they are a refuge and a comfort.”
–Translation of the words of Cicero, inscribed in stone at the Van Wickle Gates
One of the most iconic symbols of Brown, the Van Wickle gates were built in 1901 with the bequest of Augustus Stout Van Wickle, Class of 1876. The gates feature the symbols of an hourglass, a lamp upon a book, an owl, and a globe. In stone on the brick piers are the seals of the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence as well as the words of Cicero, added in 1905. In one of Brown’s most beloved traditions, the center gates remain closed except for two occasions: they are opened inward to welcome first year students processing onto the campus during Opening Convocation and are opened outward at Commencement to allow graduating students to process out during the Commencement Procession down College Hill.