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From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Van Wickle Gates

The Van Wickle Gates were dedicated on June 18, 1901. The gates were built of iron with brick and stone piers. The Brown University seal is over the center gate, which is adorned by the entwined letters B and U and circular handles in the mouths of two lions. The seals of the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence are reproduced in stone on the brick piers at either side of the center gate, and above them are stone ornaments depicting an hour-glass, a lamp upon a book, an owl, and a globe. In 1905 it was decided to inscribe the stone tablet at the right entrance, which had been left blank for a bulletin board, with an inscription from Cicero selected by Professor Albert Granger Harkness, “Haec studia adolescentium alunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium ac solacium praebent,” translated, “These studies fortify one’s youth, delight one’s old age; amid success they are an ornament, in failure they are a refuge and a comfort.” The gates were built with the bequest of Augustus Stout Van Wickle 1876, president of a bank and several coal corporations, who was killed in a skeet shooting accident in 1898. He also provided in his will for a gate and fence at Princeton University as a memorial to his ancestor Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, who gave the land on which Nassau Hall was built. The center gates remain closed except for two special occasions. They are opened inward to admit students at the beginning of the college year and at the beginning of the second semester and on Commencement Day are opened outward to allow the procession to pass through, at which time the graduates traditionally doff their caps.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.

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