99-013 (Opening Convocation)
Distributed September 1, 1999
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Kristen Cole

Opening Convocation will welcome 1,381 students to Class of 2003

Internationally-known addiction expert Dr. David C. Lewis will deliver the convocation address Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. on The College Green. In case of heavy rain, the ceremony will be held in the Pizzitola Sports Center.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Dr. David C. Lewis, a Brown professor known internationally for his work on drug and alcohol addiction, will be the featured speaker at the 236th Opening Convocation Sept. 7, on The College Green. His address is titled "This is Your Brain ... at Brown." The event is free and open to the public.

In his remarks, Lewis will share ideas for restructuring college alcohol and drug policies to focus on dysfunctional behaviors, not solely on use. According to Lewis, the goal should be to reduce the damage to users and the society around them, and in no way promote use. Toward that end, policies should focus on a gradation of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, and intervening with treatment.

Lewis has been a consultant to the White House and Congress on drug policy and is project director of the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy. He is director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, the Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies, and a professor of medicine and community health.

Convocation begins at 11 a.m. with a procession of faculty, administrators and undergraduates through the Van Wickle Gates. The gates are opened twice a year: inward in the fall to admit first-year students and outward in May to mark the departure of graduates.

After the procession reaches The College Green, President E. Gordon Gee will declare the academic year officially open and welcome 1,381 members of the Class of 2003. During the ceremony, faculty members will be recognized for awards and honors received in the past year.

Convocation will also open the Brown University School of Medicine's 25th anniversary celebration. Throughout the academic year, lectures, symposia, exhibitions and special events will commemorate the school's first quarter-century of achievement in medical education, research and patient care.

The Class of 2003

  • Brown welcomes 1,381 students to the Class of 2003, culled from 14,755 applicants.
  • Like last year, men are the minority. Women, 731 (53%); men, 650 (47%).
  • Thirty-eight percent of the class received financial aid from Brown.
  • They hail from all over the country. The Mid-Atlantic region has the largest representation at 30%. That is followed by: New England, 25%; West Coast, 14%; the South, 12%; and international students, 8%.
  • People of color make up 29 percent of the class (400 students).
  • Most students, 36%, say they intend to study science and math. Following in popularity are: humanities, 28%; social sciences, 19%; engineering, 7%. Ten percent are undecided.
  • Of the students who attended high schools where class rank was calculated, 21% were valedictorians of their classes.
  • The largest percentage of students in the entering class had SAT verbal scores of 750 to 800 (28% or 393 students); and SAT math scores of 700 to 740 (28% or 392 students).
  • Some incoming students are following in the footsteps of a parent -- 7% are children of alumni.
  • Twenty percent of the applicants for this class applied early action.
  • The Class of 2003 will be about the same size as the last two entering classes. Brown welcomed 1,433 students to the Class of 2002, and 1,385 to the Class of 2001.