The News Service
Brown University To Hold 237th Commencement on Sunday, May 29
Brown University’s 237th Commencement will follow a new schedule, with academic exercises taking place on Sunday rather than Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. Chief Marshal Artemis A.W. Joukowsky will lead more than 6,000 people down College Hill on Sunday, May 29, 2005, in one of the nation’s largest and most colorful academic pageants. The procession and academic exercises will cap a three-day Commencement/Reunion Weekend on the Brown campus.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On Sunday morning, May 29, 2005, Commencement Chief Marshal and Chancellor Emeritus Artemis A.W. Joukowsky ’55, will lead thousands of graduates, alumni, faculty and University guests in a march down College Hill. The mile-long procession, accompanied by an entourage of bagpipers, highland drummers, television cameras and the Brown Band, will mark the beginning of Brown University’s 237th Commencement exercises and the conclusion of Brown’s three-day Commencement-Reunion Weekend.
The ceremonial Van Wickle Gates, which opened inward to admit the Class of 2005 four years ago, will swing outward for the graduates’ symbolic march into the world beyond Brown. The procession steps off at 10:30 a.m. Candidates for medical degrees are the first students to pass through the gates, then graduate degrees, then bachelor’s degrees.
The 2005 Commencement/Reunion Weekend is the first to follow a new three-day schedule. After more than a year of discussion and planning, the University has redesigned Commencement as a three-day event, to conclude on Sunday rather than Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. A calendar of the weekend’s main events is included at the end of this release.
Editors: Additional Commencement news releases will be forthcoming. Contact the News Service at (401) 863-2476 or consult the News Service Web site for updates.
University-issued press credentials are recommended for any events that are open to press. Reporters and photographers may register for credentials with Dionne Montgomery in the News Service at (401) 863-2476 or by sending e-mail to [email protected]. Credentials require the reporter’s name, organization represented, and contact information for both telephone and e-mail. Credentials may be picked up at the News Service beginning Thursday, May 26.
Brown’s Sunday-morning Commencement exercises include three separate convocations prior to the all-University exercises on The College Green:
By approximately 1:35 p.m., more than 10,000 people will have found their way to The College Green for the University’s Commencement exercises and the ritual presentation of symbolic degrees by the president. In all, President Simmons will deliver formal Latin salutations to nearly 1,500 baccalaureate candidates, 550 candidates for advanced degrees and 10 candidates for honorary degrees. Flags from 64 nations, representing the homelands of the Class of 2005, will be flown during the University ceremony.
Because the graduating Class of 2005 fills the First Baptist Church to capacity, parents and friends of the graduates traditionally gather on The College Green to listen to a simulcast of the undergraduate ceremony and view the proceedings on a large outdoor video screen, which will include captioning. The University provides 12,000 folding chairs for graduates and their guests, but Commencement is usually a standing-room-only event. In case of rain on Sunday, an audio feed will be available for parents and guests in Meehan Auditorium, Hope Street at Lloyd Avenue, and in Sayles Hall and the Salomon Center for Teaching.
By long tradition, Brown does not invite a single main speaker to deliver a Commencement address to graduating seniors, but asks a number of individuals, including students, to contribute remarks at the various Commencement convocations. This year’s speakers will include:
Receiving a bachelor’s degree at Brown is a three-step process. First, during College ceremonies at the First Baptist Church in America, President Simmons will present candidates for the bachelor’s degree to members of the Board of Fellows, who will authorize her to confer the degrees. She will then confer the degrees. Second, during University ceremonies on The College Green, Simmons will symbolically present a diploma to one recipient of each degree (A.B., Sc.B., A.B./Sc.B.). Third, the University will award individual diplomas during departmental ceremonies held at various locations on and off campus at the conclusion of the University ceremony, beginning at approximately 2:45 p.m. A listing of sites for these ceremonies is on the Web (pdf) and printed in the Commencement program, distributed on campus Sunday morning.
Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations for Commencement Weekend events or who are eligible for reserved handicap parking should contact the University. Call the Office of University Events at (401) 863-2474 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Closed captioning will be available on The College Green for the weekend’s major ceremonies.
If Sunday is damp or threatening, outdoor activities will proceed as scheduled. If steady rain begins, a yellow pennant will be flown from the flagpole on The College Green, indicating that the rain plan is in effect. In that event, Commencement ceremonies scheduled for The College Green will take place at the First Baptist Church in America, and the departmental ceremonies will move to rain plan sites listed in the Commencement program. Guests of undergraduates may listen to an audio feed of the ceremonies in Meehan Auditorium, Hope Street at Lloyd Avenue, and a video simulcast in Sayles Hall and the Salomon Center for Teaching.
More than 3,500 Brown alumni/ae, friends and family will return to the campus for reunion celebrations which surround Commencement. Further information on reunion activities is available from the Commencement/Reunion Voice Mail Information Line: (401) 863-7000.
The Commencement/Reunion Weekend schedule
Friday, May 27
Saturday, May 28
Sunday, May 29