PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Less than three weeks after orchestrating a double Commencement and Reunion Weekend like no other, more than 1,000 Brown staff members gathered Wednesday, June 15, on a College Green peppered with food tables, drink stations, games and swag bags — and this time, the celebration was for them.
It was a scene absent in 2020, experienced only behind computer screens in 2021, but on full display in 2022: Colleagues laughing, hugging, catching up over breakfast and hurrying to grab a seat in the packed Salomon Center for Teaching to kick off Brown’s 28th annual Staff Development Day, a tradition dedicated to University employees investing in personal and professional growth through workshops, lectures, tours, community impact projects and more.
In a morning address, President Christina H. Paxson emphasized that this year’s celebration was a testament to the inspiring work by employees across campus that transpires behind the scenes every day at Brown.
Whether it’s through event coordination, advancement, communications, dining services or any of the thousands of ways staff contribute, “what you’ve been doing is supporting a university that is truly mission-driven…” she said. “Know that you’re important contributors to the work, and that through your work here, you are advancing the public good. That’s something we can all take a lot of pride in.”
Pride was indeed palpable throughout the day as staff reflected not just on the challenges of the past few years, but on how they were able to face them. Morning and afternoon sessions — punctuated by a staff lunch and farmer’s market and vendor fair, a 26-year tradition at Staff Development Day — tackled an array of timely topics, from adaptive leadership to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).