PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — For generations, new undergraduate, graduate and medical students at Brown have together proceeded through the Van Wickle Gates at the start of the fall semester in a tradition marking their official entry into the University community.
Health and safety concerns arising from the pandemic spurred changes to this year’s tradition, with the customary single walkthrough in the fall replaced with two early spring events to ensure the health and safety of Brown and its neighboring communities.
On Monday, March 1 — two weeks after the first Van Wickle Gates Walkthrough welcomed first-year undergraduates to Brown — roughly 400 graduate, medical, transfer, Resumed Undergraduate Education and Brown-RISD Dual Degree students proceeded through the gates in the second walkthrough of the 2020-21 academic year.
The ceremonial procession was an opportunity to bring together groups of students who bring varied experiences with them to Brown, said Caroline O’Daly, a sophomore transfer student concentrating in art history and English.
“There's something to be said for sharing this experience with other people who have either gone through college already or had another life experience — whether that was in the military or working — before coming and starting their journey at Brown,” she said. “I think that gives a new perspective to the event — there's a sense of camaraderie, and that you all are in this similar experience together.”