Brown University is a short walk away from my house, but unless I’m cutting across the quad, university business is not on my radar.
I can only name two Brown presidents– Vartan Gregorian and Ruth Simmons. I think it’s because both reached out to the greater community and all the students of Providence, and both were such warm and effective communicators.
Doctor Simmons gave Brown a running start into the 21st Century. Her defense of free speech, even at personal cost, her institution of need-blind admissions, and her straightforward confrontation of Brown’s legacy of slavery may stand longer than the buildings that rose during her tenure.
Good luck, Doctor Simmons in all you do.
ProJo.com has a timeline of Ruth Simmons’ tenure at Brown.