President's Message

November / December 2017

To all faculty, students, and alumni:

In this season of thankfulness, I’m thankful that the Faculty Club is a very diverse place.

I have long valued the diversity of the members and staff at the Faculty Club.  In fact, I belong to the club because I believe our club is indeed a place where individuals of all colors and walks of life are welcome and celebrated.  This is in contrast with most membership clubs that are refuges for the elite in our society.   During this period of thankfulness, I’m grateful that I belong to a club that continues to demonstrate what the University’s emphasis on diversity could look like.

I was recently surprised and pleased to learn that Providence City Councilor, Samuel Zurier, introduced a resolution to rename Magee Street, named for a slave trader, to Bannister Street in honor of Christiana and Edward Bannister.  The Bannisters were African-American luminaries prominent in Providence Society in the 19th Century.  

Edward was an artist whose pastoral landscapes were of much acclaim resulting in his being named “Best Artist in America” at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.   His works have been featured in museum exhibitions in both Providence and New York City.  Christiana, Edward’s wife, was a prominent businesswoman and philanthropist who raised funds for the care of civil war veterans.  She also founded Bannister Nursing Home to serve indigent elderly African-American women.

The Faculty Club is the only building that fronts Magee Street, so this change would be important to us.  It will allow our commitment to diversity to be reflected in our address.  I hope you will join me in supporting this change.

I am thankful that I belong to this Club.  I’m pleased that our members will have the opportunity to connect and share in great food and spirits and several events that lighten the season.  As in past years, I will bring family and friends to Breakfast with Santa on December 9th.  It is a wonderful and joyous gathering during the holiday season that brings us all together.  I hope to see you there. 

 -- Joseph DiMartino, President of the Brown Faculty Club