Christina Paxson

A bacteriologist, a Hollywood star and a celebrated writer were among the six people receiving honorary degrees at Brown University commencement this weekend. The ceremony, during which more than 2,400 students received degrees, was the first presided over by Brown’s new president Christina Paxson.

The graduating class weathered some rain and wind during this year's festivities, forcing the university to cancel the traditional Baccalaureate procession on Saturday. Sunday's commencement exercises went forward as scheduled.

Brown University president Christina Paxson was part of an interesting forum in the Atlantic Monthly’s March edition. The question asked of a group of intellectuals and academic historians was: What day  most changed the course of history?

Ken Burns, the documentary film maker, said it was June 28, 1914, the day Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which started World War I. Yale history professor Paul Kennedy said  it was the day Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine.

Brown U Struggles with Tuition Rates

Feb 26, 2013
Brown University President Christina Paxson
courtesy of Brown University

The president of Brown University is giving voice to something many parents have been thinking: tuition is too high.  

Brown University says it has received its third largest applicant pool in the school’s history.  Brown received close to 29,000 applications for 1,500 slots.

Admission offers will be made in late March.

The university says this is its most diverse pool ever with 38 percent of students identifying themselves as African American, Latino, Native American or Asian.

Sixty-eight percent of applicants are seeking financial aid, a number that has remained unchanged for the last three years.

Morning News Podcast: December 26, 2012

Dec 28, 2012

The Rhode Island minimum wage goes up in 2013. Our Top Ten stories of 2012 continues with a look back when Brown University got a new president. These stories and more on the morning news podcast.

Brown University President Christina Paxson
courtesy of Brown University

At the number nine slot, in our Top Ten 2012 News Story countdown is Brown University names a new president. Brown University welcomed a new commander-in-chief after the 11-year tenure of the popular Ruth Simmons. The school’s choice, Christina Hull Paxson, is an economist, who most recently led the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.
Paxson comes to Brown as the school looks to maintain need blind admissions and find a home for a new school of engineering.

Wesleyan has ended its blanket need-blind admissions policy, saying it can no longer afford to admit every qualified student. Like Brown University, Wesleyan promises financial aid to any student who needs it. For a small number of applicants, that means they will not gain entrance to the college this year because they do not have enough money attend.

Brown will honor its new president, Christina H. Paxson, with an official inauguration ceremony on October 27th. The proceedings will be on the main college green at 2 p.m.

The evening prior to the inauguration, Brown is offering a free night of performances at Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The university says the event will be hosted by actress and Brown alum Kate Burton, and it will include performances by artists from both the Brown and Rhode Island communities.

Outgoing Brown University President Ruth Simmons will take a seat on the board of trustees at Princeton University next month. Simmons is stepping down on June 30th as head of Brown, ending an 11-year tenure at the Providence institution.

Simmons is no stranger to Princeton. She held several positions at the New Jersey school, including that of vice provost, before becoming president of Smith University. When she became president at Brown University, Simmons was the first African-American to lead an Ivy League school.

Ruth Simmons comes to the end of her tenure at Brown. Photo from Brown University.

Outgoing Brown President Ruth Simmons is preparing her final address to the campus community. She’s slated to speak tomorrow at a baccalaureate ceremony as part of Brown’s graduation weekend.