The semiquincentenary

Brown creates steering committee for 250th anniversary

February 17, 2011  |  Media Contact: Mark Nickel |  401-863-1638
James Manning - First President of Brown University (1764–1791)The portrait, painted in 1770 by Cosmo Alexander, hangs in the President’s Office, University Hall.
James Manning First President of Brown University (1764–1791)
The portrait, painted in 1770 by Cosmo Alexander, hangs in the President’s Office, University Hall.
Credit: Office of the Curator/Brown University
Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch announces members of a steering committee that will oversee planning and implementation of the University’s 250th anniversary celebration in 2014. The 20-member committee of trustees, faculty, staff, and students will begin its work this semester.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — With its 250th-anniversary class now halfway through its freshman year, Brown University has established a steering committee to oversee planning and implementation for the year-long celebration of its semiquincentenary. Brown, the nation’s seventh-oldest institution of higher learning, was established as the first college in the Colony of Rhode Island by the Charter of 1764.

“Colleges and universities are among our nation’s most valuable and enduring institutions, contributing to our success as a democratic society,” said Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch. “Brown’s 250th anniversary will provide an opportunity for the campus community, alumni, Providence and Rhode Island neighbors, and friends around the nation and the world to learn about our rich and unique history and to reflect on the role of higher education past, present, and future.”

Members of the committee, invited to serve by Chancellor Tisch and President Ruth J. Simmons, include:

  • Corporation: Joan Wernig Sorensen ’72, trustee and Brown parent; Ralph F. Rosenberg ’86, trustee; Nancy L. Buc ’65, trustee emerita; George H. Billings ’72, trustee and president of the Brown Alumni Association.
  • Faculty: Richard Fishman, professor of visual art; Thomas Banchoff, professor of mathematics; Carl Kaestle, professor emeritus of education; Karen Newman, professor of comparative literature; Carle Pieters, professor of geological sciences (research); Ralph Rodriguez, associate professor of American civilization; Chad Jenkins, associate professor of computer science; Timothy P. Flanigan, M.D., professor of medicine.
  • Administration and staff: Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations; Russell Carey, senior vice president for Corporation affairs and governance; Todd Andrews, vice president for alumni relations; Joseph Gagne, past chair of the Staff Advisory Committee and academic program manager for literary arts.
  • Students: Jennifer (Jenny) Tsai and Noelle Spencer, both members of the Class of 2014; Heather Lee, graduate student; Clay Wiske, M.D. Class of 2014.

The committee will begin its work this semester.

The University has already commissioned a new history of Brown, the first official history of the institution since Walter C. Bronson’s volume, The History of Brown University, 1764 - 1914, published for the University’s 150th anniversary in 1914. The new history is being written by Jane Lancaster, who earned her Ph.D. at Brown in 1998, with special recognition in history.

The University could begin its semiquincentenary celebrations at the start of the academic year in the fall of 2013.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.