Birthday cake for 2,500. Fireworks lighting up the College Green. Lectures, lab tours, concerts, museum exhibitions — it was all part of Brown University’s 250th Opening Celebration, an open house for the extended Brown family and its Rhode Island neighbors.  Kevin Stacey chatted briefly with a few of the University’s guests.

Martha Nichols

The tricks and techniques of archaeology: “The kids got to touch a piece of the Moon!”
“The kids got to touch a piece of the Moon!”
“I’m a Vartan Gregorian Elementary parent and I’m on the PTO there,” said Martha Nichols. “Vartan Gregorian Elementary has a strong relationship with Brown. We have student athletes that come to our school, so this was our chance to visit their school. We have eight to 10 families, so there are about 30 people in our group. This morning we met first at the robotics exhibit. The kids got to fly the drone and that was very exciting and the kids all got hugs from the PR-2. Then we walked to the bats-in-flight exhibit. We got to walk through that lab and the kids were saying, ‘Wow, what an exciting place to work.’ Then we had cookies and juice with Bruno. Then we came to the Planetary Data Center and the kids got to touch a piece of the Moon. So it’s been great!”

Pin the sticker on the brain: “We moved back here for various reasons, one of them was to be near Brown.”
“We moved back here for various reasons, one of them was to be near Brown.”
Bill Jenkins and wife Linda

“I’m a member of the Class of ’66, although I did not graduate here. I went to B.U. for the last two years. I then went to law school and worked in California until I retired almost 10 years ago. We moved back here for various reasons, one of them was to be near Brown. We’ve been going lectures, football games, basketball games, and a bunch of other stuff ever since. We were here last night. We missed the fireworks and the cake because we went to the basketball game, but we were [on the College Green] before that. I think it’s the largest crowd I’ve seen at Brown in the last 10 years. We just watched the governors [colloquium]. It’s kind of amazing that there would be four governors who [are Brown parents or graduates]. Then the secretary of labor. We enjoyed them all.”

Ready for some virtual reality: A great-looking cake and smartphone full of activities
A great-looking cake and smartphone full of activities
Susan Youngwood and Richard Sedano
Brown alumni and parents

“We’ve been looking forward to the 250th for over a year now since it was announced. We’ll be here all day tomorrow. We’re just happy that this is happening and that it’s so easy for us to be here. The cake looks great! I have all the activities put into my smartphone there. There are so many choices of things to see. After this I think we’ll walk over to the Granoff Center just to look around. That’s just a great building to walk around and see the surprises that you might find. And we’re looking forward to tomorrow!”

“We come back now and we realize that we came from a really wonderful place.”
“We come back now and we realize that we came from a really wonderful place.”
Dr. Joan Gelin

“We drove in two days ago from Hartford, Conn. I love Brown. This place is part of my formative years. It gave me lots of different educational experiences, lots of ways of experience different cultures and lots of different people from all walks of life. The University and teachers were supportive and saying that if you’re willing to work hard, we’ll be willing to support you in whatever you endeavor. It’s been amazing. We got to see the fireworks on top of University Hall. We got to see the cake. And we got to see a lot of people and things on campus. I graduated in 1990 and at that time the CIT was just finished. Now have a chance to enjoy it. Some of these building that are here now were not even in existence when I was here. It’s lovely to actually see the way the campus has evolved and see how the students are enjoying themselves. Just now we got to play with a robo-copter. We attended two of the lectures today which were really phenomenal. It’s a great meeting of minds, having all of these people that talked about public service and how they love this school and want to give back to this school. ... We come back now and we realize that we came from a really wonderful place. We went out into the world, which can be difficult at times, but we had all the tools to excel, to go forward and do the best we can in world.”

“I was born on July 7 and I went to the 7th (oldest) school. I love that!”
“I was born on July 7 and I went to the 7th (oldest) school. I love that!”
Edna Loide Tavares De Almeida, Fall River

“I love Brown. I studied at the Portuguese and Brazilian center. I studied cross-cultural studies and Portuguese studies. Seven is my favorite number and Brown was the seventh university in the United States. I was born on July seventh and I went to the seventh school. I love that! I was crazy to see the cake. I can’t wait for the fireworks and I’m coming back tomorrow. I’m just hoping for another great day tomorrow and I’m so happy to be here. It’s a celebration! And I love everybody at the Portuguese and Brazilian Center!”