PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — At the conclusion of its Thursday evening (May 24, 2012) dinner celebrating the 11-year presidency of Ruth J. Simmons, the Corporation of Brown University made public a recent resolution: The section of Brown’s original 1770 Providence Campus once known as the “lower campus” or Lincoln Field will “be henceforth and in perpetuity known to all as The Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle.”
“The last eleven years have been a remarkable time of change for Brown. So much has happened during this decade plus, and throughout it all the constant has been the exacting, inspiring, and inspired leadership of our president,” said Brown Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch as he prepared to read the Corporation’s resolution. “The wisdom, the compassion, the integrity, the work ethic, and the vision that the 30 members of the search committee saw in her in 2000 has been a blessing for all things Brown. Ruth, we will be in your debt for many years to come.”
The Corporation chose the lower campus for its celebratory dinner and as an appropriate honor for President Simmons because it has important historic and symbolic significance. All four academic disciplines have facilities on Simmons Quadrangle: physical sciences (planetary geology, Lincoln Field Building), social sciences (sociology, Maxcy Hall), arts and humanities (Leeds Theatre, Ashamu Dance Studio), and life sciences (Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Metcalf Lab). It is bounded to the west by Sayles Hall, site of many historic occasions including Simmons’s introduction as 18th president-elect, and to the east by Soldiers Arch. It is also one of the two parcels of land that formed the original College Hill campus in 1770.
“This space represents Brown in our breadth and at our very best,” Tisch said. “There is no more fitting location for the Corporation to come together to say how deeply grateful we are for all that Ruth has done for us.”
Resolution of Gratitude for the Leadership of Ruth J. Simmons
WHEREAS Ruth J. Simmons has served with distinction and great accomplishment as the Eighteenth President of Brown University, commencing on July 1, 2001, and she has guided the University with inspired and inspiring leadership through a remarkable eleven year period of academic growth and enrichment;
WHEREAS The Brown University Presidential Search of 2000 sought to identify a leader with a moral vision: a commitment to the highest academic standards, diversity, and the Brown ideal; with personal qualities of stamina, openness, engagement, decency, sincerity and warmth; and the capacity to lead the University in critical choices; and, following an exhaustive international search, no individual fulfilled those criteria with greater perfection than Ruth J. Simmons;
WHEREAS From the moment of her arrival on College Hill, Ruth has continually raised our sights while providing the wisdom, direction, and leadership to achieve our highest aspirations;
WHEREAS Over the course of her tenure, she has devoted careful attention to every critical facet of the University, from renewing our commitment to shared governance, to reaffirming our essential role in tackling even the thorniest of issues through respectful, thoughtful, and informed civil discourse;
WHEREAS In her inimitable way, Ruth demanded broad engagement in developing and executing the Plan for Academic Enrichment, the thoughtful, concise, and straightforward blueprint that has guided the University’s work for the past decade;
WHEREAS The Plan, elegant in its simplicity and profound in its implementation, boldly called for significant and substantive investments in academic programs, including increasing the size of the faculty, providing greater support for graduate and medical students, strengthening undergraduate advising, building strategically upon existing areas of excellence, and expanding the reach of the University on the global stage;
WHEREAS Consistent with her personal commitment to expanding access to higher education, Ruth persuaded the Corporation early on to commit to need-blind admission, a signature accomplishment that will benefit generations of undergraduates;
WHEREAS The physical transformation and expansion of the campus with new and renewed facilities during Ruth’s presidency has been profound, marked by a focus on the needs of academic programs and students, with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and adaptive re-use of historic buildings; the legacy of her leadership will live on in the fabric of this magnificent campus for decades to come;
WHEREAS Ruth laid the foundation for the Plan, and the Brown community rallied around her leadership and vision. Inspired by her ideas and by her own example of personal giving to Brown; alumni, parents, faculty, students, staff, and friends of the University have contributed with regularity and generosity exceeding all prior levels to provide the support necessary to implement and support all aspects of the Plan, a total of over 1.9 billion dollars during the course of her Presidency;
WHEREAS As a result of Ruth’s vision, courage, and tireless efforts, Brown University is stronger and more vibrant than at any point in its nearly 250-year history.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE CORPORATION (and the entire Brown community) Extend their sincere and profound gratitude to Ruth J. Simmons for her monumental contributions to Brown University as our Eighteenth President;
And be it further resolved that, effective July 1, 2012, she be granted the title of President emerita with all attendant rights and privileges;
And be it further resolved that, in high honor and lasting legacy of her Presidency, the historic lower campus between Soldier’s Arch and Sayles Hall be henceforth and in perpetuity known to all as The Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle.
Presented this 24th Day of May 2012
Providence, Rhode Island