Distributed May 9, 2003
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Ricardo Howell

The 235th Commencement

Graduate School will begin centennial celebration at Commencement

The Brown University Graduate School will begin the celebration of its centennial during the University’s 235th Commencement, Friday, May 23, to Monday, May 26, 2003. Brown’s original “Graduate Department” was established in 1903.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University Graduate School will mark its 100th birthday with a series of events which begin during the University’s 235th Commencement exercises, Friday, May 23, to Monday, May 26, 2003, and continue in the fall. These events recognize the centennial of the “Graduate Department,” formally established in 1903 to confer advanced degrees.

Throughout 2003, the Graduate School will honor the scholarly contributions of its students, faculty and alumni who have helped to shape the learning environment of Brown, the nation and the world, with a series of celebratory events. During Commencement Weekend, these will include:

  • “Exploring the Surface of Mars with Twin Rovers,” a Commencement forum presented by Catherine Weitz, a 1998 Ph.D. recipient, on Saturday, May 24, at 2:15 p.m. in Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall. Weitz, a NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program scientist, will provide an overview and a visual tour of the MER program, which in June plans to launch two robotic vehicles to explore the surface of Mars early next year.
  • The Centennial Celebration and Reception on Sunday, May 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the garden of Maddock Alumni Center, will be hosted by President Ruth J. Simmons and Karen Newman, dean of the Graduate School.
  • For the first time ever, the University’s Commencement procession will include a Graduate School alumni division. Graduate alumni will march through the Van Wickle Gates and down College Hill with the alumni classes of Brown University.
  • The Graduate School Convocation, Monday, May 26, at 9 a.m. on Lincoln Field, will feature an address by James B. Garvin, a 1984 Ph.D. recipient, now lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. With NASA for nearly two decades, Garvin was recently awarded the agency’s Outstanding Leadership Medal for his work in developing a scientific strategy for NASA’s newly revamped Mars exploration activities.
  • Immediately following the Graduate School Convocation, at approximately 12.30 p.m., alumni and guests will attend their respective departmental ceremonies and welcome Brown’s newest graduate alumni.

The Graduate School Centennial Celebration will continue in the fall, concluding in October with a special academic symposium. That symposium will include the inaugural presentation of the Graduate School’s Horace Mann Medal, which recognizes distinguished graduate alumna or alumnus.