July 1, 2012 marks the end of one era and the beginning of another in Brunonia. Although we were informed of Ruth’s departure last September, and were subsequently presented with finger sandwiches, fancy water cooler things, and Paxson’s amazing yellow scarf back in early March, things just got real: Today, President Ruth Simmons’ eleven-year term officially drew to a close, and President Christina Paxson‘s term officially began.
Yet as we bid a final farewell to our beloved Prez Ruth Simmons, her charisma, and her overall awesomeness, we take comfort in knowing that she will be immortalized as we plan to enjoy future Fall Concerts, Mande finals, and Campus Dances on Ruth’s Quad. We’ve finally come to terms with Ruth’s departure after a baccalaureate address, a carnival, and several tear-jerking montages and tributes; now, we can’t wait to discover what Chris has in store for us (and yes, we’ll gladly “feel free” to be some of the people who call her Chris).
The audio didn’t really come through on our impromptu recording of Brown’s dance group flash mob at the campus celebration for President Simmons, so, for the full effect, play this link to Beyonce’s “End of Time” while you watch the video.
Well, events.brown.edu failed us – you can search all around campus this evening but you won’t find a gathering of fun folks with free food whose meeting you can crash.
…but why would you want to go to a lecture when Ruth Simmons’ going-away party will be filling up the Main Green with more free eats than you can shake an obese stick at? From 3–5 p.m. the Corporation, those feisty darlings of the BDH Opinions page, and SPEC, providers of the Spring Week carnival and sky/pole dancers, are going to provide us with pizza, some Mexican and Indian treats, hot dogs, and a variety of carnival munchies, including Rhode Island’s classic doughboys. Our arms might be too full with saturated fat to give Ruth one last hug, so follow our lead and just send thank-you postcards.
Want to hear the t(Ruth) about the current state of Brown? The Undergraduate Council of Students presents the 3rd annual State of Brown address with President Ruth Simmons. Simmons will discuss the current state of Brown and her vision of Brown’s future.
Come out to support your beloved president one last time as she gives her final scheduled address to the entire student body TODAY (3/15) in the Salomon DeCiccio Auditorium at 4 p.m.
Music — the art form has entranced humanity throughout the ages. Whether asserting religious fervor or expressing the fiendish tendencies of a demon barber, musical compositions have found their way into nearly all aspects of culture. Now, (arguably) the greatest work of a great dead German will help honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our beloved President Ruth J. Simmons. If posters featuring Beethoven’s beautiful face haven’t already informed you, the Brown Student Orchestra and Chorus (and PC’s Festival Choir) will be performing a bit of the old Ludwig Van as a tribute to Simmons at Veterans Memorial Auditorium tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. (Maybe the timing should have clued us in to today’s big news…)
In addition to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the concert will also feature shorter pieces by Verdi, Bruckner and Brahms. Tickets for the show are available ($10 for students) online or at the Vets box office today and tomorrow.
In a semi-cryptic email that went out to the entire University this morning, Chancellor Tisch stated that he would make an important announcement regarding the University’s “future leadership.”
“Dear Members of the Brown Community,
Please join me today at noon in Sayles Hall for an important announcement regarding the University’s future leadership. I invite those unable to attend the event to view a live webcast of this historic moment.
Members of the community are also invited to a reception in Leung Gallery in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center immediately following the announcement.
Thomas J. Tisch
Come noon today, we just may have a new president-elect, Brunonia.
If you’re feeling particularly gratuitous and/or generous today between12 and 2 pm, stop by the Chancellor’s Dining Room in the Ratty and leave Ruth Simmons a video message at the “Ruth Booth”…. and maybe donate some money to the Annual Fund, too. This is a great opportunity to show Ruth your appreciation, wear your T(ruth) t-shirt and let her know how much of a boss you think she is. Representatives from the Brown Annual Fund will be standing by to provide information and answer questions about the Million Dollar Milestone: A Record for Ruth. If the fund gets a record-setting 34,317 donors to make gifts this year, the Corporation has promised to contribute an additional $1 million.
Our very own Ruth J. Simmons was interviewed for an article published today in a New York Times series called “Corner Office,” a weekly conversation feature “about leadership and management” by Adam Bryant. You can read the whole interview here, or in today’s New York Times.
The conversation included some great insights into how Ruth leads our school. Among the quotations that are surely about to be memorized as if they were sayings of the Dalai Lama: “I have always thought that in leadership that it’s much easier to convey to people what they should do in different situations if you convey the underlying principles… I would not have any tolerance at all for people who did not, in fact, strive hard to be a part of [the] team.” She definitely isn’t a micromanager.
Definitely the most interesting part of the interview, however, was Ruth’s reflection on her younger years. Although she was the youngest of 12 children, Ruth wanted to be the boss from a very young age: “I intervened in school… to tell teachers what they were doing wrong, or at least to tell them what I didn’t like about what they were doing.” If you’re ever in one of her Africana Studies or Comp Lit classes, try that and let me know how that goes.
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