Brown at 250

By PHILIP EIL  |  March 6, 2014


$2.86 billion

The market value of Brown’s long-term pool (“which includes the endowment and other University funds,” according to a school press release), as of June 2013.


Total costs, per undergraduate student, for the 2014-’15 year at Brown. The school arrived at this number following the approval of a 3.8 percent increase in tuition and fees by the University Corporation in the fall of 2013. The corporation also approved a 5.5 percent increase in financial aid funding, bringing the total amount to be doled out in scholarships — to the estimated 44 percent of Brown students who receive such funds — to more than $100 million for the same year.


Brown’s student-to-faculty ratio.


The number of groups under Brown’s Intergalactic Community of A Cappella umbrella. They are: the Alef Beats, the Bear Necessities, the Brown Derbies, Brown’s Tones, the Chattertocks, Harmonic Motion, the Higher Keys, the Jabberwocks, Brown Madrigal Singers, the Ursa Minors, and With One Voice. Brown is home to “the most a cappella groups per capita in the US,” according to the IGCAC’s website.


The number of languages taught at Brown. They are: American Sign Language, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Akkadian, Catalan, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Czech, Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing, French, German, Spanish, Hindi/Urdu, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew, Korean, Latin, Modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Sanskrit, Swedish.


The total number of students at Brown, as of November 2013. This includes undergrads (6182), graduate students (1974), and medical students (463).


The number of applicants to Brown’s of 2018 — the second largest pool in school history. 4,999 of these applications came from abroad, dispersed among a total of 152 countries, with China and India being the top non-US sources of applicants. Applicants to Brown’s 2018 are also the most diverse group in the school’s history, with 40 percent self-identifying as African American, Latino, Native American, or Asian. The number of 2018 applicants represents a jump of nearly 10,000 since the of 2012, to which 20,633 people applied.


Brown’s acceptance rate, by percentage, for 2013. In 2012, Brown had the 13th lowest acceptance rate in the US, according to U.S. News and World Report. Harvard University had the lowest acceptance rate in the nation that year, at 6.1 percent.


The number of buildings in Providence owned and maintained by Brown.

One particularly high-profile building on Angell Street — the $40-million Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, designed by the all-star Manhattan firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro — brought architecture critics flocking when it opened in 2011. The LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne called it a “high-drama, high-design billboard” that, in its “unwavering dedication to a theory of collaboration prompts a couple of questions. What about the part of art-making that is monastic, or egotistical, or even mildly antisocial? Haven’t dedicated recluses always been among our most productive artists?”

The New York Times’ Nicolai Ouroussoff, meanwhile, called it “a handsome piece of architecture . . . which seems to have been sliced in half from the top to bottom by a gigantic blade, with its right side sunken half a story into the ground, [and] adds a touch of contemporary glamour to a campus of solemn brick buildings and converted clapboard houses.”

Closer to home, longtime Providence Journal architecture curmudgeon — I mean, critic — David Brussat was not amused. He held an online contest “to make up the best derisive moniker” for the building. Winning names posted on his “Architecture Here and There” blog included: “The Super Incoming/Outgoing Desktop Mailbox,” “The Stacked Shoeboxes,” “The Squeezebox,” “The Accordion,” “The Big Wedgie,” “Smirky,” “The Stretch Marks,” “The GAC Building (Gack!),” “Peekaboo” and “The Slot Machine.” The post’s headline called the building the “Darth Vader Creative Arts Center.”

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