Ra Ra Brunonia: Carrie Tower

After a brief hiatus, Ra Ra Brunonia is back and better than ever. This week we examine the historical roots of Carrie Tower and its relatively subtle presence on campus. Located on the corner of Waterman and Prospect, the tower, in all its glory, peers down upon the slack-liners and studiers of the Quiet Green. Unlike its counterparts on the Main Green, Carrie Tower holds a more subtle, yet deep rooted reputation on campus.

Built in 1904 as a gift from Paul Bajnotti of Turin, Italy, Carrie Tower serves as a memorial for the daughter of Nicholas Brown II, the wife of the benefactor. The tower, built by the J.W. Bishop Company of Boston, is 95 ft. tall (it’s no SciLi) and is primarily constructed of brick (it’s also no ivory tower). The top of the tower is fashioned with four copper clock faces and often adorned with an assortment of invasive plant species. The foliage was not included in any of the original blueprints. Though no one has ever been held prisoner in its highest windows, in the mid-1900s, Carrie Tower and its now defunct bells were used to signal the beginning and end of classes and victories of the Brown football team. Continue Reading


Ra Ra Brunonia: The Seal

Remember senior year of high school? Tearing through envelopes upon envelopes, closely reading  looking at pictures of different schools and their unique offerings. Beyond each distinct campus and student body, each college displayed one image that I am sure resonated with you throughout the process — the seal.

Though we have all become familiar with the Brown seal with the sun peaking its creepy face over four illegible books, the design of the seal has come a long way since the University’s establishment in Warren, RI in 1764. As Brown was founded prior to the American Revolution, the initial seal of the college, commissioned in 1765 at the second meeting of the Corporation, depicted the profiles of King George III and Queen Charlotte, an image often seen by students venturing into the Sharpe Refectory in 2012. Though ideas were developed and discussed, a new design was not formally instituted until 1833, almost thirty years after the change of name from Rhode Island College to Brown University. The present day Rhode Island College was not too creative in their choice of name #thatsso1803 (Get on our level). Brown: always the cool kid on the block. Continue Reading


Ra Ra Brunonia: University Hall

We all know it, we’ve walked past it a thousand times — University Hall, the icon of Brown. If you don’t know it, it’s the huge building on the Main Green with the bell and the bricks, and you should probably stop taking the shortcut through the Leeds Breezeway. Beyond its purpose as a home for administrative and presidential goings-on, the College Edifice (its original moniker), built in 1770, can be traced back to the establishment of Brown in Providence. Once the lone behemoth on College Hill, University Hall has nestled in among the high rises and beautiful parking lots of the city, serving as a beacon of knowledge and intellect for all who make the trek up College Street.

As Brown’s first and oldest building, University Hall has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the course of the school’s nearly 250-year history. Brown was a bit lazy in its design and modeled the building after Nassau Hall at Princeton, the alma mater of Brown’s first president, Reverend James Manning. Controversy surrounds the construction of the building, as Corporation records denote the possible use of slaves in the work force. Once completed, the building held the students’ quarters, mess hall, chapel and classrooms until the construction of Hope College in 1822. It was at this time that the College Edifice was renamed University Hall. (Note: Why isn’t the word ‘edifice’ used more often? #18thcenturynostalgia #swag). Continue Reading


Frosh-cessities: Brown’s Urban Dictionary

Coming to Brown has been a huge learning experience for me – new places, new people, and new ideas. This new knowledge is all good and grand but the most fascinating things I’ve been learning around campus are all the new vocabulary words. I’m not talking about dumb, fancy words like “hegemony”, “post-modernism”, or “agency”, I’m talkin’ ‘bout tha slang. I never thought about slang very much back home, but coming here has opened my ears to the many interesting regional bastardizations variations of the English language. Here is a short portion of Brown’s very own “urban” dictionary:

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Free Froyoworld t-shirts today (also, froyo)

Today is  Froyoworld’s 13th day of business “grand opening”!

Thayer’s newest frozen treatery has been promising a free t-shirt with any purchase at this grand opening for days now. In the interest of free swag, get up, walk the half block from your Frisc cocoon and buy yourself some morning froyo. The store opens at 11 a.m. 12 p.m.

We all have a few questions about the Froyoworld logo. For example, is that a Neopolitan hat?

The t-shirts are for a “limited time only.”  We don’t know what “limited” means exactly, but when Froyoworld opened near the Yale campus last year, the New Haven branch handed out 500 shirts, according to the Yale Daily News.

Five hundred sounds like a lot, but the YDN reported that over 1,300 customers visited the store that day.  So, to get a shirt, you basically needed to score in at least the 61st percentile  in terms of punctuality, which happens to be exactly the same score you need to get on your Orgo final…