Although many years brought a “new curriculum” at Brown, none rivaled the New Curriculum of 1969 in scope and significance of change. The new, open curriculum eliminated all distribution requirements, introduced a credit/no credit grading option and generally encouraged maximum flexibility in each student’s course of study. This radical change brought Francis Wayland’s 1850 vision to full fruition and defined Brown’s place in the landscape of undergraduate education.
The idea for the change came from a report written by undergraduates Elliot Maxwell, Class of 1968, and Ira Magaziner, Class of 1969, as part of a GISP (Group Independent Study Project) that examined education at Brown. The Brown Daily Herald measured “three years and a million student work hours of discussion and planning.” Here, Magaziner is shown with President Heffner during one of their many meetings.