2017 Mid-Year Completion Ceremony: "On Timing"

Thank you, Dean Mandel, and welcome everyone – students, families and friends! I am delighted to be here with you on this exciting day – a little bit of May in December, which we all need right now!

Now, this being an occasion marking the completion of your graduation requirements at a date other than May, I’d like to talk a bit about timing – not the time it took you to complete college, but rather how timing shapes us as human beings.

Washington Post higher education reporter Nick Anderson moderates a conversation about freedom of expression on university campuses, with Brown President Christina Paxson and University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer

Advancing University Values

Amid ongoing national discussions about the role of higher education in advancing knowledge and free expression, Christina Paxson is a vocal advocate of Brown’s mission to “serve the community, the nation and the world by discovering, communicating and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry.”

Implications of Federal Tax Bill

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

Earlier this month, I shared details on Brown’s work to understand and address concerns about the tax reform legislation being considered by Congress, and particularly a number of alarming provisions related to higher education. Today, I am writing with an update on the status of the bill, its potential financial implications for members of our community and how we continue to make our voices heard on this critical issue.

Watson Institute Expansion

Thank you Ed, and good afternoon.

I want to add my thanks to everyone who has contributed to making the expansion of the Watson Institute possible – including our generous Watson donors and volunteers, the Watson Overseers, our talented Watson faculty and students, and, of course, the construction team and architect, for what we all expect will be a splendid addition to the Brown campus.

Family Service of Rhode Island Brighter Futures Award Luncheon: "Brighter Futures Award Acceptance Speech"

Thank you, John and Margaret.  I am honored and humbled to accept the 2017 Brighter Futures Award, on behalf of Brown University.

I want to thank Family Service of Rhode Island – for hosting the Brighter Futures Award event, and for bringing hope and resilience to so many over the years.  And I want to acknowledge John and Margaret, for their outstanding leadership of this truly beloved organization. 

My thanks as well to Congressman CiciIline – a previous recipient of the award, I should note – for your kind introduction.

White House action on DACA

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

Today, the Trump administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status granted to an estimated 800,000 young people across this country, phasing out the program through March 5, 2018. With this decision, students and others with current DACA status will face deportation if Congress does not identify a legislative solution for them to remain in the country legally once their status expires.

Addressing the Protests in Charlottesville

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I am writing to share my deep sadness and concern about the awful events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, over this weekend. The protest on Friday night, when alt-right groups marched on the University of Virginia campus expressing racist and anti-Semitic sentiments, was appalling enough. The hate-filled demonstration the following day in the city of Charlottesville was even worse, resulting in violence and loss of life.