Treasurer of the College and benefactor
The two brothers oversaw the University’s relocation from Warren to Providence, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. They also helped found the firm Nicholas Brown and Company, which funded the construction of the College Edifice — later renamed University Hall — starting in 1770.
Their family grew wealthy by participating in the lucrative slave trade in the West Indies, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. In 2003, a firestorm of lawsuits and criticism erupted against businesses and universities including Brown and Yale over their ties to slavery, The Herald reported in 2012. Then-President Ruth Simmons responded by creating a steering committee tasked with helping “the campus and the nation come to a better understanding of the complicated, controversial questions surrounding the issue of reparations of slavery,” The Herald reported. In 2006, the steering committee proposed creating the Center for Slavery and Justice in 2006.
Members of the Class of 2016 learned about the Brown brothers as incoming first-years in their summer reading assignment, “Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade and the American Revolution” by Charles Rappleye. Now headed by Professor of Africana Studies Anthony Bogues, the Center for Slavery and Justice still seeks stable funding and a more dominant campus presence. Campus discourse continues to address what role Brown’s relationship to slavery should play in discussing and explaining the University’s history.
Wayland attempted to introduce elective subjects and more flexible concentration requirements in his 1850 "Report to the Corporation of Brown University on Changes in the System of Collegiate Education.” He also emphasized “free discussion in the classroom” rather than rote recitation from textbooks, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana.
Wayland’s curricular reforms failed to gain popular support, and the so-called Wayland Curriculum disappeared from Brown within a decade. Wayland then offered to resign after his views on politics and higher education lacked support, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana, but the Corporation deliberated and urged him to withdraw his resignation.
His name is engraved below the clock tower on the wall of Wayland House, the only building on Wriston Quadrangle that does not house a fraternity, sorority or program house. Wayland’s push to abandon rote learning was part of a larger movement that helped shift Brown — and other institutions of higher learning — away from the less-engaged educational strategies favored at the time.
Educator and activist
She made key strides in gender equality by fighting to let women attend and reside at the University, according to the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center website. Doyle founded the Rhode Island Society for the Collegiate Education of Women, which fundraised to establish the University’s Women’s College, according to the 1991 book “The Search for Equity: Women at Brown University, 1891-1991.” The Women’s College would be renamed Pembroke College in 1928 and merge with Brown by 1971.
“The women’s sphere is one of infinite and indeterminate radius,” Doyle said at the 1897 dedication of the Women’s College.
Doyle challenged the status quo and beliefs held by the “men of her generation” by advocating various reforms, including temperance, suffrage and an end to child labor, according to the 1991 book “The Search for Equity: Women at Brown University, 1891-1991.”
In 1974, 25 students, faculty members and staff members formed the Working Group on the Status of Women to call for a “center where women of all ages could discuss career options, interests and the still somewhat novel concept of dual-career couples,” the Brown Alumni Monthly reported at the time. Their efforts culminated in the creation of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, which today “works to help students and other community members understand the connections between academic theory and feminist practice,” according to the center’s website.
He opened the University’s doors to women in 1898 by approving the creation of the Women’s College, later renamed Pembroke College in 1928, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. He also worked to increase the student body size, boosting undergraduate enrollment 140 percent over his eight years in office, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana.
He resigned in 1897 after his political views on currency brought him in conflict with the Corporation, writes Theresa Ross in “The Lengthened Shadow of One Man: E. Benjamin Andrews and Brown University, 1889-1898.” Andrews advocated bimetallism, the monetary system in which gold and silver have equal value. Corporation members feared his belief in bimetallism would discourage wealthy Rhode Islanders, who supported the gold standard, from continuing to donate to the University.
“The college is injured by the public utterances of the President,” wrote Corporation trustee H. L. Wayland in an unsigned letter.
His name emblazons Andrews Hall, a first-year dormitory built in 1947 to connect Miller Hall and Metcalf Hall, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. His legacy also lives on through Andrews Commons, an eatery on Pembroke Campus.
Despite the turmoil of World War II, he worked to increase the quality and number of applicants to the University and integrate Pembroke and Brown classes, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. He also helped establish the Applied Mathematics and Egyptology departments and reduce the required number of courses per semester from five to four.
He angered Providence residents when he called the removal of a row of old houses on George Street the “greatest slum clearance since Sherman burned Atlanta,” according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. Alums also expressed disapproval of his proposed brick addition to the John Hay Library in 1939, with one impassioned and anonymous alum quipping, “Wriston found Brown marble and left it brick.”
He coined the influential term “university-college,” a phrase to describe a university that combines a focus on undergraduates and a liberal education with the structure of a research university, in a 1946 pamphlet distributed to alums. The term now concludes Brown’s mission statement. In the weeks after the release of President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan, undergraduates and faculty members voiced concern over the term’s absence from the plan, The Herald reported at the time. In response to this concern, Paxson revised the plan to include the term.
Their 1969 report on educational philosophy led to the creation of the Open Curriculum. They published the report, entitled “Draft of a Working Paper for Education at Brown University,” after studying college education over the course of a year. In the report, they warned against the dangers of pre-professionalism and distribution requirements, arguing “the general education portion of the curriculum is a hindrance to the desires and educational needs of a large segment of the undergraduates.”
The report’s release sparked “intense controversy,” with former President Ray Heffner convening a Special Committee on Curricular Reform tasked with considering the report, The Herald reported at the time. The committee proposed revising Brown’s curriculum based on the report and introducing the S/NC grading option. Though 13 faculty members wrote an impassioned letter decrying the committee’s proposal, an adapted version of the plan — titled the Open Curriculum — ultimately found faculty and administrative approval.
Many consider the Open Curriculum to be among the most distinctive elements of Brown’s education. But as President Christina Paxson rolled out her strategic plan, students and faculty members worried the University was losing sight of the emphasis on undergraduates advocated by Magaziner and Maxwell, The Herald reported in fall 2013. Despite these concerns, Maxwell told The Herald he thought the University had so far done “a good job” of balancing undergraduate and graduate priorities.
Assistant professor of anthropology
The first woman granted tenure, Lamphere paved the way for future female faculty members.
After being denied tenure in 1974, Lamphere joined with three colleagues to bring a class-action lawsuit against the University for sexual discrimination, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. The lawsuit was one of the most expensive in University history, garnering more than $1 million in legal fees. The $1.1 million settlement granted tenure to Lampere and two of the three colleagues. It also created the Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee, which outlined goals and timetables for adding women to the faculty.
In the period following her lawsuit from 1976 to 1991, women rose from comprising 8.5 percent to 43 percent of untenured faculty, and from 2.5 percent to 16 percent of tenured faculty, according to the 1991 book “The Search for Equity: Women at Brown University, 1891-1991.” In 2008, Lamphere went from plaintiff to donor when she gave the University $1 million for an endowed professorship for young or untenured faculty members, The Herald reported at the time. That year, then-President Ruth Simmons hailed her work for gender equality while appearing as a guest on “The Today Show,” The Herald reported at the time.
Student and Leader of Students for Aid and Minority Admissions
Piana called upon the administration to implement need-blind admissions by staging a takeover of University Hall in April 1992 that resulted in 253 students being arrested and charged with five misdemeanors, The Herald reported at the time. The day after the takeover, he organized a rally on the Main Green to protest these arrests that drew 400 students, faculty members and administrators.
His actions riled many high level administrators, including Executive Vice President for University Relations Robert Reichley, who agreed with the principle of need-blind admissions but feared the protesters would cast a bad light on the University and discourage alumni donations, The Herald reported at the time.
“Yesterday’s event was not Brown’s finest hour,” Reichley then said of the University Hall seizure.
More than a decade after Piana’s protest, President Ruth Simmons pledged to implement need-blind admission for domestic applicants beginning with the Class of 2007 in her Plan for Academic Enrichment, The Herald reported. In spring 2012, the student group Brown for Financial Aid formed to urge the University to expand financial aid policies, advocating a platform that included extending need-blind admissions to international, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate Education students, The Herald reported.
Leader of Students Against Apartheid
He called for the University to divest from companies doing business in South Africa as a statement opposing Apartheid, The Herald reported in 1987.
Vann led around 30 undergraduates in interrupting a Corporation meeting, seizing the microphone and vowing to stay until the University’s highest governing body had agreed to divestment, The Herald reported in 1987. He and 19 other students who signed a sheet of paper at the meeting were found guilty of disruptive behavior and placed on probation, The Herald reported.
Following his efforts, the University in 1987 divested from companies conducting business in South Africa. Since then, the University divested from tobacco manufacturing companies to show disapproval of the industry in 2003, from companies doing business in Darfur to oppose the 2006 genocide and from HEI Hotels and Resorts in 2011 due to alleged unethical treatment of workers, The Herald reported. But the Corporation decided against divesting the University from companies profiting significantly from the coal and fossil fuel industry in 2014, The Herald reported at the time.
Vann currently serves as the chief operating officer and chief of staff for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, according to the NAACP website. His past positions include executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and the youngest president of the Connecticut branch of the NAACP.
Coordinators of the Third World Coalition
They helped the Third World Coalition draft a report urging the University to increase minority presence on campus, The Herald reported in 1991. The report specifically proposed the University admit a number domestic minority applicants proportional to the minority population in the United States, hire more minority faculty and staff members and create a course designation for classes with an “American minority perspective.”
Some members of the Undergraduate Council of Students criticized the report for what they called its excessive financial demands on the University’s resources, The Herald reported at the time. The coalition's recommendations “will tax the imagination at least as often as the coffers of the University,” Roh said in response.
Admitted students to the class of 2018 are the most diverse in University history, with 46 percent identifying as students of color, The Herald reported in March. And the University recently revamped the “Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning” course designation, launching 15 sophomore seminars next fall aimed at exploring diversity issues, The Herald reported in February.
Since graduating, Jain cofounded Shikshantar, an organization working to reform the Indian education system, according to the Shikshantar website. Roh co-founded the Rockford Spine Center, which aims to offer patients minimally invasive spine and cervical surgeries, according to the Rockford Spine Center website.
Though he inherited a $4.1 million budget deficit amidst a financial crisis, he helped the University expand to a fully coeducational, medical degree-granting institution, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. He presided over the merger between Brown and Pembroke in 1971 and the first granting of medical degrees in 1975.
To combat low endowment returns and alumni donations, he proposed severe cutbacks in the size of the faculty, support services and financial aid — a move that weakened his popularity among students, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana.
“Brown is encumbered with an array of problems that just won't go away, despite Mr. Hornig's attempts to gloss them over,” lamented a 1974 Herald editorial.
His plummeting approval rating inspired him to resign in 1976.
The University held a symposium honoring Hornig on his 70th birthday in 1990, according to Encyclopedia Brunoniana. Decades after he oversaw the first granting of medical degrees, the Alpert Medical School released 90 graduates this year, with 90 percent of them heading to one of their top three choices of residencies, The Herald reported in April.
18th president, Brown's first female president and first black president of an Ivy League institution
She called upon the University to implement universal need-blind admission, add 100 new faculty positions, expand graduate and professional programs and boost its international reputation in her Plan for Academic Enrichment. She helped fully realize all of these goals except the first, with only domestic first-year applicants receiving need-blind financial aid since 2003. She financed these goals by mounting the largest fundraising effort in University history, raising more than $1.6 billion over eight years, The Herald reported in 2012.
Simmons retained strong popularity and even “cult status” among students, with around 68 percent of the student body approving of the way she was handling her duties in fall 2011, The Herald reported at the time. But some critics voiced concern that her focus on graduate and professional programs detracted from the University’s historic commitment to undergraduate education and the liberal arts, The Herald reported in 2012.
Upon her departure in 2012, the Corporation rededicated Lincoln Field as the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle, The Herald reported at the time. And when President Christina Paxson rolled out her strategic plan in fall 2013, she built off of Simmons’ pushes in the PAE for competitive financial aid, faculty growth and graduate stipends, The Herald reported at the time.