Brown University President Christina Paxson will host a colloquium on “The Virtues of Liberal Education” on March 8, 2014, as part of the University’s 250th anniversary Opening Celebration. The series, which includes a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, a 1983 Brown graduate, begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Advance registration and tickets are required, available without charge at 250.brown.edu. [This release was revised Thursday, Feb. 27, to include a change of venue.]

Emily Lamb:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University President Christina Paxson will host a colloquium on the “Virtues of Liberal Education” on March 8, 2014, as part of the 250th anniversary Opening Celebration weekend. The series, which includes a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, a 1983 Brown graduate, begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Advance registration and tickets are required, available without charge at 250.brown.edu.

Editors: Due to high demand for tickets, the President’s Colloquium has been moved to a larger venue. All discussions and the keynote address will now be held in the Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium, on the College Green.

The colloquium, a series of panel discussions continuing through the afternoon, will touch on a variety of topics. At “Bridging the Great Divide: Politics, Polarization and Progress in 21st Century America,” governors from several states, including Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, will discuss whether partisan politics are impeding the stability of the United States. “ABCs, Bits, Bytes and MP3s: Technology and Its Impact on a Liberal Education” will bring together experts to discuss how emerging technologies are affecting traditional approaches to learning in educational environments.

At “Social Justice, Social Change: The Role of the Documentary,” filmmakers Betsy West and Yoruba Richen will discuss with journalist Alison Stewart how documentaries became the ideal medium for social change and will share some of the techniques they use during the filmmaking process. Lastly, Richard Olson, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, will talk with historians and political scientists about how revolutions happen, how they have changed over centuries, and how they can spark future revolutions.

At 11:15 a.m., Perez will deliver the Opening Celebration keynote address, part of the Watson Institute for International Studies’ Distinguished Lecture Series. An international relations and political science concentrator at Brown, Perez earned a law degree at Harvard and embarked on a career of public service, first as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court (Colorado) and then 12 years in federal service, most of it in the Department of Justice. President Obama nominated him as secretary of labor in March 2013, and Perez was confirmed in July.

All events will take place in the Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium, on the College Green, with simultaneous video presentation in the lower lecture hall, Room 001.

Editors: Space is limited. To ensure access, contact Courtney Coelho at courtney_coelho@brown.edu or 401-863-7287 by 5 p.m. March 5, 2014.

10 a.m.
Bridging the Great Divide: Politics, Polarization and Progress in 21st Century America

  • Lincoln Chafee, governor of Rhode Island, a 1975 Brown graduate and a Brown parent
  • Maggie Hassan, governor of New Hampshire, a 1980 Brown graduate and a Brown parent
  • Jack Markell, governor of Delaware, a 1982 Brown graduate
  • Peter Shumlin, governor of Vermont and a Brown parent
  • Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy, moderator

11:15 a.m.
Opening Celebration Keynote and Watson Distinguished Lecture

  • Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor, a 1983 Brown graduate

1 p.m.
Social Justice, Social Change: The Role of the Documentary

  • Betsy West, a 1973 Brown graduate and Brown parent, filmmaker
  • Yoruba Richen, a 1994 Brown graduate, filmmaker
  • Alison Stewart, a 1988 Brown graduate, journalist and author

2:15 p.m.
ABCs, Bits, Bytes and MP3s: Technology and Its Impact on a Liberal Education

  • Norman Atkins, a 1984 Brown graduate and Brown parent, co-founder and president, Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Peter Norvig, 1978 Brown Ph.D. graduate and Brown parent, director of research, Google Inc.
  • Lynn Pasquerella, 1985 Brown Ph.D. graduate, president, Mt. Holyoke College
  • Jose Estabil, a 1984 Brown graduate and 1988 master’s recipient, director, E&I, Skolkovo Tech/MIT Initiative and MIT Portugal Program

3:30 p.m.
Disagreement and Dissent: The Role of Revolution in Shaping Our World

  • Richard Olson, a 1981 Brown graduate and Brown parent, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan
  • Nathaniel Philbrick, a 1978 Brown graduate and Brown parent, author
  • Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of history and Brown parent
  • Melani Cammett, a 1991 Brown graduate, associate professor of political science