President Christina Paxson Commencement Remarks

Today, in conjunction with this 247th Commencement Ceremony, we also mark the conclusion of Brown’s 250th Anniversary; our semiquincentenary. Many institutions celebrate such milestones over several months or perhaps, an academic year. True to our nature, Brown followed a different path and marked the occasion over 444 days.

From the start, our goal has been to present offerings designed to be meaningful and memorable, whimsical and scholarly, inclusive and reflective of Brown’s diverse community, and most importantly, true to Brown.

Since the Opening Celebration in March of 2014, tens of thousands of alumni, students, parents, friends and community members have embraced the invitation to be a part of this significant occasion. You contributed to and participated in hundreds of programs offered on campus and on every continent throughout the world. Brown’s 250th has truly been a global celebration.

In myriad ways over the past 15 months, we have reflected on our past, considered the University of today and challenged ourselves to imagine Brown’s future.

From the start, we set a tone that was uniquely Brown and that spirit has continued throughout the anniversary. Through exhibits and tours, athletic events, open labs and demonstrations, theatrical and musical performances, community partnerships, forums and discussions, we have showcased the best of Brown and the diversity that thrives in the Brown community and defines the Brown difference.

As you pursue your lives of usefulness and reputation, I hope the past 15 months have helped prepare you to do so with a deeper sense of pride and fuller understanding of Brown’s history and of those who have journeyed the path before you.

And now, please join me in singing the Alma Mater. Immediately following, we will conclude Brown’s 250th Anniversary with the premiere performance of Alma Mater 250.