Welcome back, everyone! It’s a classic Providence afternoon

Ian McKellen knows how you feel.  Rumor has it Paxson will reenact this scene on the Main Green directly after Convocation…

On the other hand, those who drown on the way to Orgo might consider it a blessing.


BlogDH Explains Orientation: Opening Convocation

UPDATE: Convocation will be held indoors at 4:00 p.m. in the Pizzitola Sports Center due to inclement weather. New students who wish to walk through the Gates together can do so tomorrow, September 6 at 12:00 p.m. along with President Paxson. Additionally, new students can walk through the Gates tomorrow at their convenience from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But don’t let the rain get you down; it’s still going to be a great day.

First-years: you’ve survived move-in, pre-registration, and awkward small talk at the Ice Cream Social. Mazel Tov! Now, it’s time to get initiated. Not in some creepy, cultish kind of way (unless you’re into that), but in true Brunonian fashion — by walking through the Van Wickle Gates.

If you ever went on an official tour of campus, you’ve heard the legends surrounding those famed gates: first years enter them during Opening Convocation to mark the beginning of their time on the Hill, and graduates walk out through them onto the streets of Providence to signal their departure. It’s very sentimental, one of those gratuitous Ivy League traditions that comes with the package.

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in it all. There are cameras everywhere, and no one ever really knows where to go. (Pro tip: through the Gates.) Faculty superstars (including Paxson herself) line up on the Quiet Green and sport their alma mater regalia to welcome you. They applaud you as you walk to the Main Green. You! The first-year! Savor that glory now, before those faculty superstars get real around midterms. We can assure you that Opening Convocation will be one of the most memorable moments of your life; check out our ways to make it count after the jump.

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A Thousand Words (and a video): 2011 Convocation

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College Hill gets a visit from Capitol Hill

Any biology-and-political-science double-concentrators hard at work in the depths of Sidney Frank Hall may have gotten a surprise treat Friday afternoon: none other than Rhode Island’s junior senator was in town and paying a visit to the building.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat elected in 2006, visited campus Friday afternoon to tour the building (better known to students as the LiSci) and meet with deans and researchers.

Included on the agenda:

  • A meeting with Dean of Medicine Edward Wing, Vice President for Research Clyde Briant, and director of Governmental Relations Tim Leshan
  • A discussion of climate change with Professor of Geological Sciences Jack Mustard and Professor of Biology Joanna Schmitt, who directs Brown’s Environmental Change Initiative

(Continued after the jump.)

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Crustacean conservation at convocation

Even President Ruth Simmons is doing her part to soften the economy’s impact on the University’s coffers — and shellfish worldwide are breathing sighs of relief.

Before introducing today’s convocation speaker, Professor of Biology Johanna Schmitt, Simmons outlined her plan to make up the $800 million in losses reported earlier this year:

“We really don’t need to have shrimp at the faculty reception,” she said. “What’s a shrimp or two?”

It’s not yet clear what impact Simmons’ remarks will have on the popularity of Dining Services’ exclusive new Club Plan.

Video of convocation after the jump. Continue Reading