Ra Ra Brunonia: Gates

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Who’s down to learn about some gates?! After another brief hiatus, Ra Ra Brunonia is back and better than ever (yes, I have said this before!)! As a member of the Ivy League, Brown is forced to conform to a strict gate policy: in order to proceed onto a grass-covered quadrangle, a student must walk through/beneath a gate. This policy is strictly enforced, as evidenced by this…and this…and this.

Let me just establish this up front: Brown loves gates. We walk through the Van Wickle Gates during our first week on campus, we run through the John Nicholas Brown gate when late to our American Legal and Constitutional History lecture, we even have an eatery explicitly named The Gate. Gates are to Brown as Gail is to the Ratty; you absolutely cannot separate the two.

We begin with the most regal of gates at Brown—The Van Wickle Gates. Located at the top of College Street, the Van Wickle Gate has been a staple of the Brown campus since 1901. Named after Augustus Stout Van Wickle, who was incidentally killed in a skeet shooting accident (Ed.-seriously?), the Van Wickle Gates are only fully opened twice a year: towards campus during Convocation and towards downtown Providence during Commencement. It is traditional that seniors doff their caps as the pass beneath the Van Wickle Gates after graduation. As a side note, Augustus Stout Van Wickle also donated a fence and gate to Princeton University—the man truly loved gates.  Continue Reading