After a two year study, RISD’s Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to “divest their endowments direct investments in fossil-fuel extraction company stocks and bonds.” The RISD community got an email sharing the news this morning, once more affirming that our artsy cousins down the hill are always one step ahead. The full email, sent by Michael Spalter, chair of the Board of Trustees and shared by the Divest RISD campaign Facebook page, is posted below. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the Divest RISD campaign!
This afternoon, President Christina Paxson P’19 sent out an email announcing our new provost, effective July 1st. Richard M. Locke, current Director of the Watson Institute, will be stepping up to the job, which belonged to Vicki Colvin this past school year. Locke teaches Political Science to undergraduate and graduate students, has served on the Deficit Reduction Working Group, and worked on the meld of the Taubman and Watson centers.
Locke is an author, a seasoned faculty member and alumnus of MIT, and the receiver of a nearly perfect rating on The Critical Review, to name just a few of his achievements. His research focuses on “improving labor and and environmental conditions in global supply chains”, meaning producing a reality where you don’t need to violate the Earth and basic human rights in order to run a big, profitable business. Locke works with companies like Coca Cola, Apple, and Nike. We look forward to seeing how Professor Locke will integrate these values into his new position.
Until further notice, Locke will continue to serve as Director of the Watson Institute. You can read more about Locke and the announcement here.
At the end of my sophomore year, I found myself sobbing into a cup of pudding at the Ratty.
Of course, by then, I had cried plenty of times. But this was the first time in college I’d ugly cried in public. I didn’t have the privacy of my room, or the drunken mutual understanding of a Keeney stairwell on a Saturday night: I was sitting immediately next to the apples and bananas, and I was crying. Audibly. Anyone trying to refill their coffee would have definitely heard my stifled sobs. They maybe would have even noticed the tears streaming down my face, splashing into vanilla custard.
This send-off isn’t about defining success or embracing uncertainty or taking active control of your happiness. Many bloggers have written about these topics—far better than I could. This send-off is about the low points of college.
Graduation is all too often a time when smiling is mandatory, and nostalgia overshadows reflection. The story of the past few years isn’t so neat, though. Success was not always inevitable, or expected. Not every pain became a teachable moment.
I want to talk about the low points, though, because they taught me that it’s okay to ask for help. As I was sitting in the Ratty, all I could worry about at the time was all the different ways I had already failed. I didn’t know what I was doing that summer, or where I was living. Switching majors was a terrible idea, and I’d never catch up to everyone else. My classes were tanking, and I was so behind in lecture that I didn’t even know how to be wrong anymore.
As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2015 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here and our RISD “Last Call” chain here.
People might know me as… that horseback rider who loves to bake and has a really cute puppy.
In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… well, it’s still a couple of weeks away, but May 24th baby!
On Friday night, I might find myself… at my apartment drinking wine with the roomies, or stealing my dog from my mom’s house nearby.
Three things I wish I had known freshman year…
- Don’t be scared! This is one of the hardest universities in the country, but you can succeed. And you will!
- It’s never too late! People here always want to meet more people and make more friends. Embrace it.
- Don’t save your bucket list until senior year! Start ASAP.
Ratty vs. V-Dub… Neither. I’ve been off meal plan since sophomore year. Even freshman year, I only went in to a dining hall to get Lucky Charms. I’m a vegan and mostly I cook for myself, or spend all my money at Wildflour in Pawtucket.….
As you may know, Brown University proudly upholds the tradition of electing two members of the graduating class to address the crowd of eager graduates rather than hiring a Commencement speaker from outside of the Brown community.
Many members of the Class of 2015 anonymously sent excerpts and ideas for a commencement speech to a ten-person committee, comprised of Deans McSharry and Rodriguez, four seniors (chosen by those deans), and four faculty members (including Professor Barbara Tannenbaum of the famed Persuasive Communication course). The committee selected about 10 finalist proposals, whose writers were given recommendations and asked to flesh out and perform their entire speech. Based on those performances, the committee selected the two commencement speakers. Introducing…
Michelle Bailhe ’15 and Lucas Johnson ’15
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Concentration: Human Biology
Freshman Unit: Morris (Unit 19?) 4th floor
Most Likely to be Found: Morning: Scili basement, Afternoon: Carrels of the Rock, Night: Dance studio
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Freshman Unit: Champlin 3rd floor, (s/o to Champlin Cheetahs, Christian Petroske, the 3rd and 4th floors)
Most Likely to be Found: Lurking around the Blue Room attempting to get his friends who are on meal plan to buy him something. At night, in the SciLi basement photoshopping absurd self-referential photos with his friends in order to avoid doing work.
BlogDailyHerald: Did you two know each other before being selected as the commencement speakers?
Michelle: No, but we have a mutual friend. Several actually. My friend who dances with me is living with him next year, but somehow we never met.
Lucas: It’s very strange, the overlap was astounding in retrospect.
BlogDH: What motivated you to apply to be a speaker? Do either of you have public speaking experience?
Lucas: I didn’t expect to get nominated, I didn’t nominate myself, and I still don’t really know who nominated me. I just thought that it would be a very helpful exercise in reflecting over the past couple of years. And I thought, well, okay, someone felt that I had something important to say. So I took a lot of time processing that, and actually was very close to not submitting anything because trying to sum up four years in a couple of pages is really stressful. But I decided to give it a shot, and now I’m here.
Michelle: I remember the speeches that came out the year that we got into Brown, the 2011 speeches. I was still questioning my decision to come to Brown, and somewhat nervous about it. I remember Vivi Tran’s speech, “An Education in Altruism,” and that was the first time that I felt 100% that I had picked the perfect place and people for me. I wanted to be able to do something similar, and I think the fear of not being able to sum up four years in two pages definitely stopped me at first, but I realized it didn’t have to be that, and it could just be a “slice” of an experience that hopefully resonated with people. That became much easier to write.
The first thing to notice when attending a RISD Apparel Department Runway show is the decorum of the Providence Performing Arts Center. From the lobby’s archway to the exquisite mixture of red and gold that colors the entire space, the Center – once known as the Palace Concert Theater – is nothing short of beautiful. In the 70’s, the space was used exclusively for rock concerts and one can only imagine the spectacle of chaotic rock ‘n’ roll contrasting with the ornate, royal beauty of such a space.
That contrast seemed present this past weekend at RISD’s runway show, Collection 2015. Often with heavy electronic tracks playing in the background (mixed by Jackson Hallberg ’15), the student designers showcased their best work. The main crux of the show was the senior thesis work of 17 graduating students who presented an all-encompassing range of work with tickling collection titles such as “*tween Queen *” (Yuan Peng Wu ’15) and “What’s your Packaging” (Elizabeth Hilfiger ’15).
That’s not to say the sophomores and juniors didn’t present strongly. Notable collections included Adam Dalton Blake’s (’16) outlandish “Judy’s Boys” inspired by wrestling, as well as more subtle collections like Jingxin Xu’s cut-and-sew project “Coleoptera.” Each student’s vision felt present in the designs; some flamboyant in their choice of colors and fabrics, others more bespoke. This was in part due to the different projects each class year had been assigned. The work from the Class of 2017, for instance, was broken up into two projects: Re-Innovative and Print. The Re-Innovative Project, centered around the use of recycled materials, stood out at the show; Noah Pica’s collection “Untamed” used materials like shredded backpack straps to mimic the aesthetic of fur. Pica cited a “tumultuous relationship with my body hair” as inspiration for the look.
The senior theses expanded upon some of the ideas and concepts present in the collections of the younger classes. Each student’s collection was supplemented by an introductory video – sometimes as simple as a close-up shot of a young woman eating brightly colored macarons or as pacifying as watching a figure standing out in the ocean, balancing on a jut of rocks, her large white and blue cloak flapping in the breeze. With sounds of heavy bass reverberating throughout the theater, models presented the senior projects, sometimes with astute poise, and at other times eating bananas. Pushing the envelope was Andrea Dyes’ “Congenital,” a collection of spherical designs that seemed to question modern notions of beauty and appeal. The elegant collections inspired the typical jaw-dropping that RISD Apparel is known for inducing, while the aristocratic, sometimes pompous, glitterati that NYFW and other fashion shows are known for was noticeably absent. Every single collection felt sincere and determined in its vision, however peculiar that vision might be.