Editor’s Note

Friday, May 24, 2013
This article is part of the series Commencement Magazine 2013

What a lark! What a plunge! these past four years have been. We’ve gone up to the roof of Metcalf to watch the sunrise and down to the SciLi basement to pull all-nighters. There are risks we wish we’d taken; nights we try to forget. Some of us never want to leave. Some of us know that it’s time. But overall, it’s been a blast.

This weekend, the class of 2013 will step off College Hill and scatter in different directions — toward jobs, graduate school, unemployment and the unknown. We asked 17 graduating seniors to reflect on their formative experiences at Brown and how they’ve been shaped by their time here. From empowering youth through hip-hop to working on an ambulance caravan in Nepal, students offered us a glimpse into their experiences beyond the classroom. We also look at life after graduation. In our “Life After Brown” section, we call on graduates — both old and new — to reflect on their journeys after they walked through the Van Wickle Gates. One article looks at how alums from the past two years are transitioning to the “real world” immediately after graduation. Another explores the experiences of Brown alums across the decades who pursued similar career paths. A spotlight on reunions depicts what it’s like for alums who return to Brown after years away.

Brown has changed us, but the University itself is not the same place it was four years ago. A lot has happened in the year since Christina Paxson, a little-known dean from Princeton, took the reins from Ruth Simmons after her 11-year tenure. We explore the University’s future direction as the Paxson administration seeks to define its priorities, and we revisit the University’s recent expansion that began before the class of 2013 even set foot on campus. National tides of change have reached Brown and its surrounding community as well. This year, Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize gay marriage, and a student group is taking on a national campaign calling for the University to divest from coal companies. The class of 2013 and Brown are both at transition points, seeking to determine the best direction forward.

We’ll miss you, Brown. But we know that the friendships and the memories we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned will last far beyond the Van Wickle Gates.