Students and scholars keep Brown lively during the summer months

Brown hosts a diverse array of activities, events and educational offerings during June, July and August.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The academic year is over, and most Brown students have departed for summer work, research and travel experiences. But even in their absence, College Hill remains a vibrant community as thousands of high school students arrive for pre-college courses — and other summer events bring visitors to Brown from around the world.

The biggest presence on campus are the more than 9,000 young people who will spend all or part of their summer taking part in pre-college academic courses, leadership training experiences and sports camps. Most of them will live on campus for between one and seven weeks. 

The majority of students who come to Brown in the summer are high school students hailing from all fifty states and more than 100 countries who live and learn on Brown’s campus as part of [email protected], choosing from more than 200 non-credit courses that represent the range of Brown University’s Open Curriculum. Courses span the academic disciplines — from “Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Architecture” to “Race, Gender & Horror: Reading Psychoanalysis in American Film and Fiction” to “DNA Science: Forensics, Food, and Medicine.”

Additionally, high school students can participate in the Brown Leadership Institute. The two-week-long institutes combine the development of socially responsible leadership with focused academic study. Students integrate their learning through course workshops on leadership styles, public speaking and active listening as well as the development of an action plan project related to their school or home community. 

Other summer programs at Brown include pre-baccalaureate college credit courses for rising or recently graduated high school seniors; a recently expanded intensive English language program for non-native speaking high school students; the STEM Program for Rising 9th and 10th Graders; and location-based high school programs that embed Brown academics in off-campus locations such as Italy, Spain, Alaska, Florida, Washington D.C., and down the road in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.  An array of youth athletics camps also brings more than 3,000 students to campus to hone their skills in sports ranging from baseball and wrestling to fencing and squash. Camps are led by Brown’s varsity coaches, their staffs and current Brown athletes.

Outside of class, students experience the independence of college life and participate in a full program of events and activities, said Adrienne Marcius, associate dean for pre-college and undergraduate programs.

“Brown continues to be a leader among our peers offering these challenging and often pivotal learning opportunities for young people,” said Marcus. “In addition to the more than 300 courses students choose from, most have experiences on campus in Providence living and learning with their peers, supported by some 250 summer seasonal staff who help to guide, support and share in the growth that happens during these programs.”

Some current Brown students remain on campus during the summer — serving as staff supporting pre-college programs and sports camps, or simply continuing their own studies. Brown’s summer session includes 45 classes, open to current undergraduates and a few select rising high school seniors, that pack all the work of a regular semester into half the time. And in addition to the nearly 500 summer session enrollees, more than 230 students will work side by side with faculty in laboratories, classrooms and offices as they conduct original research through the University's Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) program.

Elsewhere on campus, Brown is hosting the College Horizons’ annual pre-college summer program for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian high school sophomores and juniors. The six-day workshop focuses on understanding the college admissions application process. 

Academic conferences at Brown in June included the annual meeting of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, hosted by the University’s Department of Africana Studies, and the North American Syriac Symposium, hosted by the Department of Religious Studies. A Conference on the Future of Work in the Apparel and Footwear Industries — convened by University Provost Richard Locke — brought together academic and industry leaders to explore changing business models in these global industries.  

Local community members can find plenty of activity to engage in as well. Multiple ongoing arts, cultural and historical exhibits, include The Providence Album, which explores the life, look and history of Providence in the 1960s through the photography of Carmel Vitullo and Harry Callahan; Hidden Figuresan exhibit highlighting the achievements of women archaeologists; and Memory Dishes, which examines reimagined culinary practices in the New World that blended traditional West and Central African recipes with indigenous and European staples. On July 11, a piano performance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission will feature moon-themed works by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy, among others, performed by Brown alumnus Benjamin Nacar.

All of these activities, combined with daily campus tours for visiting prospective students focusing on engineering, sustainability and the physical sciences, make for an active and engaging summer on College Hill.