“Is it Greg or New Dorm?” — that was the headline of a Herald article from fall 2021. The concept was straightforward: Newer members of the campus community were calling the Vartan Gregorian Quadrangle “Greg” — an abomination to upperclassmen who knew the building as “New Dorm.”
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our campus traditions, as that Herald story noted, and the class of 2023 is the last cohort to have experienced Brown as it was before. In this version of The Herald’s Commencement Magazine, we sought to document the singularity of the class of 2023’s COVID experience, and to celebrate the once again thriving campus community we leave behind.
Many of the articles in these pages focus on how our campus has changed — from the decline and return of student activism to how pre-professionalism has permeated Brown’s culture. But this magazine also notes points of profound continuity — celebrating iconic campus traditions such as walking through the Van Wickle Gates and the ways in which the community has persevered these last four years.
At the helm of The Herald, members of this board have seen a change in physical office space, four changes in leadership and countless changes to masking policies. With our last contribution to The Brown Daily Herald, we are most of all grateful that this organization has persisted through it all.
We are also enormously grateful to The Herald’s staff, who have given more than we could ever expect of them. We are grateful to the seniors who chose to contribute to this magazine, even as senioritis sank in. And we are grateful to the Brown community — students, parents, faculty, staff and alums — who have been reading these past four years.
When we come back to campus in the years to come, we know we’re bound to sound ancient when we say “New Dorm” or describe our time on campus during COVID-19. This place is bound to change, and we don’t think that’s a bad thing. Our college years have been as strange as they come, and we are grateful to have documented these unique eight semesters at Brown.
Editors’ notes are written by The Herald’s 132nd Editorial Board: Ben Glickman ’23, Benjamin Pollard ’23, Caelyn Pender ’23, Katie Chen ’23, Gaya Gupta ’23 and Jack Walker ’23 MA’23.