Looking into the past

Brown University is a place where historic roots run deep. Knowledge is passed from one generation to another; traditions carried on year after year. Brown’s Mike Cohea has juxtaposed campus images of the past with those of the present, imaginatively showing that while time may have passed much remains the same. The collection that follows re-enforces Brown alum Charles Evans Hughes's famous words: It is always Old Brown and it is always New Brown.

The original GISP: students in Prof. J.W.P Jenks' taxidermy class pose on the steps of Rhode Island Hall in 1875, clutching animal and skeletal specimens from a collection formerly housed in the building, while Catherine Teitz '14 takes a break in one of her favorite study spots. In 1894, Jenks, back left, considered one of the most colorful characters in Brown's history, died “without a moment’s sickness or suffering” on those same steps.

The Blizzard: 1978 vs. 2013: Thanks to the long hours and hard work of Brown Facilities Management staff, we can walk, rather than ski, around campus.

Members of the campus and local community gather near Soldiers Arch on the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony nearly 100 years after the Brown University Battalion stands at attention in December of 1917 as World War I raged across the Atlantic. The Soldiers Memorial Arch, dedicated in 1921, commemerates the 41 alumni and students and the one faculty member who died in service during WWI.

Halfback Jackson Keefer, Class of 1925, scores through a hole just like the one opened up by the 2012 Bears offense for a touchdown in the first quarter of Brown's Homecoming game against Harvard 87 years later. Despite the Bears efforts on Sept. 22, Harvard prevailed 45-31.

Izaak Baker ’15, left, and Arianna Kazez ’15 stroll out of Hope College, just as undergraduates George S. Brown, Eli Whitney Blake, Jr, and Francis H. Brownell, all members of the Class of 1888, walked to class some 125 years earlier. Today, on the first day of both the 2012-13 Academic Year and Brown's 249th year, raincoats and umbrellas replace books in the hands of students.

Finding the right dorm can be a challenge for some during move-in weekend but not for Lauren Bilsky '14 as she makes her way to her dorm on Wriston Quad. New and returning students are getting settled throughout campus and preparing for classes to begin.

Brown University graduates from the mid-1920s flow seamlessly with graduates from the Class of 2012 as they proceed through the Van Wickle Gates during the 244th Commencement procession. Traditionally students pass through the gates twice during their time at Brown. First, as freshmen, when they enter the campus at Convocation and then again as seniors, when during commencement they pass through the gates for the last time as students and traditionally doff their caps.

Separated by more than a hundred years, but joined by the spirit of celestial discovery, Frederick Slocum, class of 1895 and an astronomer at Ladd in the early 1900s, and Michael Umbricht, present-day Observatory curator, show the change in astronomical spectroscopy over the last century. Slocum used a spectroscope attached to the main telescope to observe the spectral lines of distant stars by eye, while today Umbricht uses a Nitrogen spectrum discharge tube to calibrate a spectrograph with a digital computer interface. Slocum received the first Ph.D. in astronomy at Brown in 1898, then served as assistant professor of astronomy from 1899 to 1909.

Wrestling match on Lincoln Field. Freshman versus sophomore class battles were resolved by informal football scrimmages, wrestling matches and flag rushes. The unofficial but strongly traditional conflict between the two lower classes took place yearly on the night before the opening of college, with a series of wrestling matches concluding the battles at Brown University.

The Hurricane of ’38 was the first to lop off his arm. Some pranksters were second. But in the 105 years since Caesar Augustus was gifted to Brown by Moses Brown Ives Goddard, Class of 1854, he's still standing tall.

Prior to the turn of the century, the Bicycle Club was among the most popular organizations on campus.

A chemistry class of the 1870s on the steps of Rogers Hall (now the Salomon Center) as Professor John Appleton watches from the doorway.