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Brown University

Brown University is an Ivy League University located in Providence, Rhode Island.

Brown is notable for, among other things, having the only Egyptology and History of Math[?] departments in the United States. Brown was also one of the first institutions to take media studies seriously, with its department in Modern Culture and Media, where students study film, film criticism, and critical theory.

Brown distinguishes itself from its peer institutions through its "New Curriculum." The New Curriculum, instituted in 1969, gives students more freedom to determine their own educational paths by eliminating distribution requirements and mandatory grading (allowing all courses to be taken on a "satisfactory/no credit" basis). These features give Brown a reputation for being more laid back than its peer institutions.

Brown's current president is Ruth Simmons[?], the first black woman president of an Ivy League University.

Brown's famous graduates include John Hay.

Brown's athletic teams are called the Bears. They participate in the Ivy League with about 17 different men's and women's teams.

Admissions to brown is a competitive process. Recent admission rates hover around 15% of applications.

Table of contents

A Brief History of Brown

The Founding of Brown

The college was founded in 1764 in Warren Rhode Island, after inter-denominational wrangling between Baptists and Congregationalists, initially with a single student. Originally the "Rhode Island College", it was soon named after Nicholas Brown, Jr.[?], one of its first graduates. The University moved to its present location on the East Side of Providence in 1770.

Women at Brown

Brown established a Women's College in 1891, which was later named Pembroke. Brown merged with Pembroke in 1971 and became coed.

The New Curriculum

Brown adopted the New Curriculum in 1969, marking a major change in the University's institutional history. The curriculum was the result of a paper written by Ira Magaziner and Elliot Maxwell entitled "Draft of a Working Paper for Education at Brown University." The paper came out of a year long study (known as a GISP or Group Independent Studies Project) by about 80 students and 15 professors. The group was inspired by student-initiated experimental schools, especially San Francisco State College[?], and sought ways to improve education for students at Brown. The philosophy they formed was based on the the principle that, "the individual who is being educated is the center of the educational process."

The paper made a number of suggestions for improving education at Brown, including a new kind of interdisciplinary Freshman course that would introduce new modes of inquiry and force faculty from different fields to work together. Their goal was to transform the survey course, which traditionally sought to cover a large amount of basic material, into specialized courses which would introduce the important modes of inquiry used in different disciplines.

The New Curriculum that came out of the working paper was significantly different from the paper itself. Its key features were

  • Modes of Thought Courses aimed at Freshman
  • Interdisciplinary University Courses
  • Students could elect to take any course Satisfactory/No Credit
  • Distribution Requirements were dropped
  • The University simplified grades to ABC/No Credit, eliminating pluses, minuses and D's. Furthermore, "No Credit" would not appear on external transcripts.

External link

  • Brown's website (http://www.brown.edu/)
  • A history of Josiah Carberry: [1] (http://www.brown.edu/webmaster/about/history/carberry.shtml)



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