Sunday, May 26, 2013
The Commencement Procession, one of Brown's greatest and oldest traditions, brings together the entire Brown community — students, faculty, staff, and alumni — in a festive and joyous celebration. The procession steps off through Faunce Arch promptly at 9:45 am, led by the chief marshal, a member of the 50th Reunion class. All graduating students march through the Van Wickle Gates, which swing open twice a year: inward to admit incoming students and outward to discharge the new graduates.
Over the years, Brown has changed several aspects of the Commencement Procession. The alumni division forms along the sidewalk in front of University Hall and extends back out the gate by Rhode Island Hall and along both sides of George Street toward Brown Street.
The alumni face north, looking from University Hall toward the Hope College Gate. When the faculty division has completely entered the Green and passed between Manning Chapel and University Hall (but before any of the student divisions has passed), the alumni fall in behind them. They turn left between University Hall and Manning Chapel and proceed down the hill toward the Van Wickle Gates.
After passing through the divided ranks of the Corporation and the faculty, the alumni will be divided on both sides of College Street. The Medical School and graduating seniors will pass through the alumni ranks. As part of the inversion that completes the procession, alumni will in turn march through the divided ranks of the graduating seniors along Benefit Street, all to great mutual applause.
See the map at right for an approximation of where your Reunion class will form. Generally, the most recent classes will form on George Street while earlier classes will form on the College Green. Look for your class signs and your Reunion student staff member for guidance.
The Commencement Procession will be cancelled only in the event of severe storm conditions. If the storm plan is in effect, it will be announced on the Brown University home page, a message will be left at (401) 863-3100 and a text sent to seniors’ cell phones.