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John R.
Democrat RI

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  • Brown University

    by Senator Jack Reed

    Posted on 2014-02-27

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    REED. Madam President, today I want to recognize an extraordinary university, deeply rooted in the history of Rhode Island, Brown University. Brown is celebrating its 250th anniversary. Brown University's founding in 1764 makes it the seventh oldest institution of higher education in the United States, predating even the American Revolution. The university originally began as a small school located in Warren, RI, known as the College of Rhode Island. As Brown grew, it moved to College Hill in Providence in 1770, where it has thrived to this day and was renamed a few years later to acknowledge a $5,000 gift from Nicholas Brown, a member of the class of 1786.

    Since its founding, Brown University has played an important role in Rhode Island and our Nation's history. Indeed, it was the first Ivy League institution to admit students of all religions. Brown remains committed to diversity and access. Over 20 years ago, Brown established the Leadership Alliance, a national academic consortium of leading research universities and minority-serving institutions with the mission to develop underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business, and the public sector. Brown stands out for its willingness to openly delve into its past while staying focused on the future, and it has made a vital commitment to college access through its need-blind admissions policy, ensuring that no student admitted to Brown will be turned away for financial reasons.

    Brown established a truly student-driven curriculum--the Brown Curriculum--in 1970 to allow students to personalize their course of study. In an effort to continue its edge in innovation, Brown launched its Plan for Academic Enrichment in 2002 to help transform the fields of research, education, and public leadership. Fiscal year 2013 saw the University conduct more than $170 million in sponsored research, helping the Rhode Island economy and making new discoveries that can improve lives.

    The commitment of Brown's alumni to public service is also particularly noteworthy and admirable. According to a 2013 article by Washington Monthly, Brown ranks fifth among national universities and first in the Ivy League for the number of alumni working in public service. Some of the Brown alumni currently playing important roles in the public sphere include Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Through this commitment to service, members of the Brown community continue to find ways to improve the quality of life for people across Rhode Island, the Nation, and the world.

    I am proud of the talented men and women who have contributed to the success of Brown University over these past 250 years. I congratulate Christina Paxson, Brown's 19th president, the students, the Brown Corporation, and the entire Brown community on this significant milestone.


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