Retelling Brown 250+ through social media: A FOMO story


I picked a bad weekend to go out of town. This past weekend was chock-full of once-in-a-lifetime events that I will tell my grandchildren that I missed. What I didn’t miss, however, were the massive amounts of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts telling me exactly how much I missed.  I spent a substantial portion of the weekend trying to weave together many statuses, tweets, and photos posted by fellow friends, acquaintances, and classmates. After some serious cyber-sleuthing (read: Google), here is what I was able to deduce:

No one seems to be sure if Brown is married or celebrating a birthday. Anniversary and birthday are not interchangeable words. Which one are we celebrating here?! The University labelled Brown’s semiquincentenary an anniversary…but there was birthday cake. Or was it an anniversary cake? Either way, this place is 250 (+?) years young and apparently we must celebrate accordingly. And when I say accordingly, I mean from March 2014- May 2015. I guess we really are the fun Ivy.

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Friday night was a tame mixture of Spring Weekend and Sochi. The Main Green was said to be so loud that no one could even hear President Paxson’s speech. The muddiness may have also contributed to a Spring Weekend foam partylike feel, but instead of getting pink eye, students’ shoes just got a little dirty. In addition, the 250+ flames/lights/blazing balls of fire were said to be extremely inconsistent and constantly changing colors and intensity; however, many were unsure if this was intentional or a #SochiProblem. We at BlogDH want to know whose idea it was for this fire-lit “250+” on University Hall and can we have whichever Blue Room muffin they were eating at the time?

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A Thousand Words: Brown 250+ opening celebration

In case you were too busy fighting through the crowds for a taste of red velvet cake to take in the moment, our ace photographer Danielle Perelman ’17 was on the case. From perches in Faunce and shockingly near President Paxson’s podium, she snapped these awesome photos and many more. Click on the thumbnails for zoomed in versions of the images.

We can neither confirm nor deny that any Blog writers were involved in that dance party that was going on at a window on the 3rd floor. You all know you saw it.

Overheard at the 250th anniversary cake cutting celebration


It was MAYHEM.

There are moments in your life when you just want to drop everything, lie down in the fetal position, and cry yourself to sleep. Brown’s 250th Anniversary cake cutting definitely qualifies as one. As I waited in the crowd for a slice of this infamous cake, I found myself smothered in a sea of feverish, hungry college students (think Spring Weekend but not as arousing fun). Still, I stood my ground and braved the mosh pit pushes and questionable odors — that cake just looked so darn yummy. Hearing the hilarious comments from everyone around me was the only thing that kept me sane. Really. So behold! I give you a list of the best student remarks during The Cutting of the Cake ‘14.

Minutes before The Cutting:

“Do you think it’ll actually be any good?”

“I came all the way from London, so, like, I should definitely be the first one to get this cake.”

“[Getting closer to the steps] I am going into the inferno, wish me luck.”

“I am ashamed.”

“I am pitiful.”

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The 10 events you can’t miss from this weekend’s Brown 250th kickoff celebrations

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In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the gigantic crane operating in front of University Hall, Brown is kicking off its celebration of its 250th year this weekend. The University has set up a ton — well, a quarter ton in some cases, but more on that later — of programming. Way too much for a hung over busy Brown student to get to, so we’ve boiled down this absurd brochure of events into a nice top 10 to guide you through the weekend, presented in (mostly) chronological order:

1.  Jim Kim ’82’s keynote address. The current president of the World Bank and former president of Dartmouth should have plenty of wisdom to drop on us. 2:30-3:50 p.m. in Salomon 101. Tickets are sold out, but you can still watch on a live stream. Worst case scenario, we get this:

2. “The Brown Difference” premiere. This film, directed by Oren Jacoby ’77, P’17 and Betsy West ’73, P’17, will probably be about how Brown is different from other schools. Look for mentions of student activism, and open curriculum, and naked people carrying donuts. Hopefully it doesn’t stray into these obnoxious stereotypes. Curtains up at 5 p.m. in Sayles.

3. Cake. I don’t know how to explain this so I’m just going to come out with it: There is a 600 pound cake in the shape of University Hall coming at us. It’s 3 feet high and 5 feet wide. My God. The cake cutting will take place on the Faunce steps at 6:30 p.m. Friday night.

4. Fireworks. Students in Hope and Slater have been asked to ditch their dorms for the event. We don’t know what exactly is in store, but that leads us to believe that whatever it is is going to be REAL. The fireworks are part of the same extravaganza as the cake, at 6:30 p.m. on the Faunce steps.

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Full Brown 250+ Opening Weekend schedule announced

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The administration has announced the full lineup for the 250th anniversary opening weekend ceremonies, and it’s a doozy. The festivities will kick off Friday, March 7 (next week!) with a Keynote Lecture by World Bank president Dr. Jim Yong Kim ’82 at 2:30 p.m. A film called “The Brown Difference” (I wonder what it is?!) will premiere at 5 p.m. in Sayles before the party really gets started at 6:30 with the giant anniversary cake and fireworks on the Main Green. Friday night will also include a “performance showcase featuring 20+ student groups” at 7:30 in Granoff and a 250th Anniversary Wind Symphony Concert in Salomon.

Saturday will feature a campus-wide open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (full schedule here). Highlights include: a 10 a.m. panel on 21st century politics with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75, P ’14, ’17, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan ’80, P ’15, Delaware Governor Jack Markell ’82, and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin P ’14; an 11:15 a.m. Watson Keynote by US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez ’83; and a 3:30 p.m. panel on revolution with US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson ’81, P ’14 and Professor Emeritus Gordon S. Wood, among others. Registration is encouraged. Check out the celebration’s Facebook event for more information.

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Aga Khan and Jim Yong Kim will deliver Ogden Memorial Lectures

Ogden Lectures

This year, as a part of Brown’s 250th Anniversary opening weekend, His Highness the Aga Khan and World Bank Leader Jim Yong Kim ’82 will deliver the Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lectures on International Affairs.

Jim Yong Kim will be the first to speak as a part of the Ogden Memorial Lectures on Friday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. in Salomon. You can claim your free ticket here while spaces last. In addition to being the 12th president of the World Bank, Kim has served as both the president of Dartmouth College and the director of the HIV/AIDS Department at WHO, and is a co-founder of Partners in Health.

His Highness the Aga Khan will be speaking on Monday, March 10 at 5 p.m. in Salomon. You can also get a ticket here. As the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has spent a great deal of his life’s work focusing on the development of Asia and Africa. He also holds many degrees, one being an honorary Doctor of Law from Brown.

Both events will also be live-broadcasted here.