2014 -- S 2571

Enacted 03/04/14


S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Goldin, Paiva Weed, Felag, DiPalma, and Lombardi

Date Introduced: March 04, 2014



WHEREAS, In July of 1763, James Manning presented a plan for a college to a group of gentlemen in Newport. The plan was that the institution should be a Baptist one, but that other denominations should be included in its governance; and

WHEREAS, The charter was laid before the General Assembly in August of 1763, but postponed while it was redrafted. The General Assembly met in East Greenwich beginning on the last Monday in February in 1764 during which time the charter was resubmitted; and

WHEREAS, The "Act for the Establishment of a College or University within this Colony" was passed by the House of Magistrates on March 2, 1764, and on March 3rd the Upper House concurred.  The Act was signed and sealed by the Governor, Samuel Ward, and the Secretary, Edward Thurston, at Newport on October 24, 1765; and           

WHEREAS, The preamble of the Charter sets forth the purposes of the institution as follows:, "Whereas institutions for liberal education are highly beneficial to society by forming the rising generation to virtue, knowledge, and useful literature, and thus preserving in the community a succession of men duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation"; and           

WHEREAS, The charter included a majority of Baptists among its trustees, as well as Quakers, Congregationalists and Episcopalians, reflecting the spirit of Roger Williams' vision of a colony with freedom of conscience; and          

WHEREAS, The twenty-four original incorporators of "Rhode Island College" were sworn in as members in September of 1764 and included Governors Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward; and           

WHEREAS, At its second meeting in September of 1765, the members named James Manning as its first President and Professor, whose parsonage in Warren served as the schoolhouse; and          

WHEREAS, The college's first commencement was in September of 1769, and had only seven students; and           

WHEREAS, The cornerstone of a college edifice was laid in May of 1770, on the east side of Providence; and          

WHEREAS, In September of 1804, the College was renamed "Brown University in Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, Providence Plantations" in honor of Nicholas Brown, Jr., class of 1786, trustee and fellow of the University and benefactor; and           

WHEREAS, The first master's degrees were granted in 1888, and the first doctorates in 1889.  Women were admitted as students in October of 1891; and            

WHEREAS, Pembroke College was the name given to the Women's College in 1928.  In July of 1971, the offices of Pembroke and Brown Universities were fully merged; and

WHEREAS, Today, Brown University is the seventh oldest college in the United States; and         

WHEREAS, Brown University was the first Ivy League school to accept students from all religious affiliations, a testament to the spirit of openness that still typifies the institution today; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University includes undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Warren Alpert Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Engineering, Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership and the IE Brown Executive MBA; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University has sought to attract, challenge, and cultivate intellectually independent and creative scholars who are educated deeply about the history, knowledge and traditions of their respective academic disciplines, while being encouraged to advance knowledge at areas beyond disciplinary boundaries and make an impact on the world; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University accepts first-year domestic students on a need-blind basis, opening the opportunity for a higher education to thousands of applicants; and

WHEREAS, Brown University's student body has grown from one student its first year, fourteen year old William Rogers of Newport, enrolled in 1765 to a student body with 6,182 undergraduate students, 1,974 graduate students; and 463 medical students; and

WHEREAS, Brown University is among the most selective institutions of higher education in the United States, admitting only 9.2% of undergraduate applicants and 17% of graduate applicants; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University employs over seven hundred faculty and four thousand five hundred employees making it among the top private employers in the state; and

WHEREAS, Brown University attracts and spends $170 million on research annually, making it the leading center of scientific research and development in the state; and

WHEREAS, The Brown University approach to research combines an unprecedented degree of multidisciplinary, integrative scholarship, porous boundaries between departments, a world-class medical school, a highly innovative engineering program, and a deepening partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design to create a unique academic culture of "constructive irreverence"; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University research contributes to innovations in brain science and rocket science, in biomedical engineering and computational molecular biology, in public health and population health, in physics, mathematics and archaeological discovery, in geology and planetary exploration, and in the visual, performing, and literary arts; and

WHEREAS, Brown University generates 8,200 jobs in Rhode Island through direct payroll employees, purchasing, construction, student and visitor spending; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University is a national leader in providing support to its host municipality; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University is launching fifteen months of events and activities celebrating the 250th anniversary of its founding with a weekend of celebrations, lectures, forums, conferences, discussions, exhibits and performances, music, anthology of writings, video, audio, web-based story corps of alumni perspectives, and open house on March 7th; and

WHEREAS, The events of March 7th will include bringing three hundred middle school students from across Rhode Island to campus for a day of learning and discovery to meet with professors and students; and           

WHEREAS, Brown University continues to produce a succession of graduates "duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation"; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby encourages and supports the efforts of Brown University to commemorate and celebrate the 250th Anniversary of its founding; and be it further       

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby conveys its collective wishes for continued research and discovery, innovation in education, enduring contributions to the state and service to the community; and be it further       

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby welcomes this semiquincentenary celebration as an opportunity to celebrate Brown University's accomplishments, consider the Brown University of today, and imagine Brown University's future in the 21st century and beyond; and be it further           

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Governor and the Chancellor and President of Brown University.