This is a student contribution from Claudia Moser’s class ARCH 1764: 25 Things! 250 Years of Brown’s Material Past
This past Friday I attended the 250th anniversary fireworks display on the main green. Although this was the only event I was able to make it to over the weekend, the general feeling of excitement and fulfillment was apparent in the immense amount of pride that current students and alumni took in being a part of this weekend. Overall, the enthusiasm displayed by everyone involved in this monumental weekend gave me an immense amount of pride in having the opportunity to be a member of this community not just during my four years on campus, but rather far beyond my graduation next spring.
Throughout the course of the weekend, I noticed walking around campus, and just Providence in general that the community was packed with elder alums celebrating the anniversary of the school and furthermore, current students flooding social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook with new status updates, and photos of the weekend’s events over the course of the 72 hours. These various sorts of generational displays of excitement and enjoyment were truly brought to life during the spectacular firework display on Friday evening. Interestingly enough, I overheard a member of the grounds crew mention that this was the first ever instance of fireworks taking place on campus, an interesting fact that I believed served to only further the weekends enthusiasm.
However, I think the most remarkable aspect of the firework celebration on Friday night was the overwhelming presence of non-Brown community members. The main green was flooded with Providence community members, particularly parents with their children on their shoulders, all wanting to be a part of this monumental moment in Brown University history. To me, this represented the strong bond between the school and the Providence community, and how the two entities have mutually benefited from each other over the University’s history. As integral as the link between the school and the University have been, it is reassuring that, despite recent concerns about the University’s impact on gentrification, the community was able to enjoy this occasion along with students, faculty, and employees of Brown. Over the next 250 years, hopefully Brown’s community can continue to grow and integrate with the University’s community, and only further tighten the mutually beneficial bond that has been forged over the past two and a half centuries.