The Fall Celebration, Sept. 27-28, 2014, will feature alumni events, a series of forums, campus tours, performances, and a Saturday evening football game under the lights against Harvard — with 250+ fireworks after the game.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University’s 250th anniversary celebration continues with a weekend of events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept 27-28, 2014. The Fall Celebration has something for everyone, including a host of alumni events, a series of forums, campus tours, student presentations, performances, and a Saturday evening football game.

A complete schedule of events is available at the Imagine Brown 250+ website.


On Saturday, Sept. 27, the University will present a series of five forums featuring Brown alumni and faculty, all aligning with core elements of Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown.

  • The Human Brain: Research and Its Impact on Our Everyday Lives
    Diane Lipscombe, professor of neuroscience and interim director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, will moderate a discussion between Ricardo Dolmetsch, a 1990 Brown graduate and global head of neuroscience at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research; Melanie Leitner, a 1993 Ph.D. recipient and associate director of clinical research at ALS iHub, Biogen Idec, Inc.; and Galen Henderson, a 1993 medical school graduate and director of the Neurocritical Care and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
  • Making “It”: Delving Into the Creative Process
    Arnold Weinstein, the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of professor of comparative literature, will moderate a discussion between Sheila Bridges, a 1986 graduate, author, and founder of Sheila Bridges Design; Oren Jacoby, a 1977 graduate and director of Storyville Films; and James Naughton, a 1967 graduate, and actor.
  • Land, Sea and Sky:
    How Science, Policy, and Politics Influence the State of Planet Earth

    Dov Sax, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will moderate a discussion between Nalini Nadkarni, a 1976 graduate, 2014 honorary doctorate recipient, and director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Utah; Joel Scheraga, a 1976 graduate with advanced Brown degrees (A.M. 1979, Ph.D. 1981), senior adviser for climate adaptation for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Bina Venkataraman, a 2002 graduate and senior advisor for the Climate Change Initiative for the Executive Office of the President.
  • The Role of Media in Shaping — and Reflecting — Culture and Society
    Richard M. Locke, director of the Watson Institute for International Studies, will moderate a discussion between Mara Liasson, a 1977 graduate and political commentator for National Public Radio and a Fox News Channel contributor; and Mark Maremont, a 1980 graduate and senior editor of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Enduring Legacies of Human Slavery: Human Trafficking in the 21st Century
    Anthony Bogues, the Lyn Crost Professor of Social Sciences and Critical Theory and director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, will moderate a discussion between Katherine Chon, a 2002 graduate and senior adviser on trafficking in persons at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Malika Saada Saar, a 1992 graduate and executive director of Rights4Girls; and Preston Tisdale, a 1973 graduate and attorney for Koskoff, Koskoff & Beider PC.

Open labs, tours and exhibitions

In addition to the forums, doors across campus will open for lab demonstrations, gallery exhibitions, and tours. A sampling of the many offerings includes:

  • Guided tours of the Lost Museum exhibition in Rhode Island Hall
  • History, religion, architectural and public art tours of campus
  • Brown Center for Students of Color (formerly the Third World Center) Renaming Celebration
  • 250th anniversary exhibitions in the John Carter Brown and the John Hay libraries
  • Audible Spaces,” a sound installation exhibition in the David Winton Bell Gallery and the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts
  • “In Deo Speramus: The Symbols and Ceremonies of Brown University” in the Haffenreffer Museum
  • A presentation and discussion by students involved in TechStyle Haus, alumni and faculty
  • The Brown Reader contributors reading at the Brown Bookstore
  • A lecture by Dr. Jack A. Elias, dean of medicine and biological sciences
  • Research Matters! A graduate school symposium celebrating new ideas and discoveries
  • An engineering student design workshop
  • "25 Objects: The Stories of Our Past, Present and Future" in the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center
  • Brown Football versus Harvard (6 p.m. at Brown Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at 401-863-2773), with a special fireworks show after the game.
  • A performance of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Trinity Repertory Artistic Director Curt Columbus (Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. Tickets will be available online and at the Leeds Theatre box office, 401-863-2838). A free talk-back with actors and the director will follow Sunday’s performance.
  • Thayer Street Art Festival (Sunday)
  • Sunday on the Green, featuring musical performers and a farmers’ market

Slavery Memorial Dedication

Saturday’s events will also include the dedication of the Slavery Memorial by sculptor Martin Puryear. Recommended by the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, which issued its report in 2006, the memorial was commissioned in 2012 to recognize the University’s relationship to the transatlantic slave trade and the importance of this traffic in the history of Rhode Island.

The Semiquincentenary Continues

  • The 250th anniversary website offers an interactive timeline of Brown University’s first 250 years. Among the items: The oldest known moving pictures taken at Brown, from the 1915 Commencement.
  • The Brown Reader is a collection of newly commissioned essays, reminiscences, drawings, and perspectives by 50 authors who are Brown graduates, edited by Judy Sternlight and published by Simon & Schuster and Brown University. Read the New York Times review.