A Day on College HillEvery year, accepted students gather on campus for A Day on College Hill — now a three-day, two-night event intended to prove Brown’s status as the college with the happiest students. Photo by Sam Kase.
Sacred LibrariesWedding bells may not be ringing for students who enter the University’s three sacred libraries — the John Hay, the Annmary Brown Memorial and the John Carter Brown. Legend has it that entering all three libraries ensures that a student never gets married.
Midnight OrganAt midnight on the four scariest nights of the year — the night before the first day of classes for first-years, Halloween and the night before finals each semester — students gather in Sayles Hall to hear the world’s largest Hutchings-Votey organ.
Pembroke SealDon’t step on the seal. The Pembroke Seal has long been rumored to give bad luck to anyone whose foot lands on it. According to legend, female transgressors will become pregnant and males will fail to graduate.
Van Wickle GatesThe Van Wickle Gates open twice annually, once during convocation and again during commencement. It is considered bad luck to walk through them more than twice, so some Brown undergraduates who plan to attend graduate school at the University may walk through backward during commencement.
Josiah CarberryJosiah S. Carberry, the famed professor of psychoceramics, or the study of cracked pots, first appeared in Brunonian lore in 1929. Every Friday the 13th and Leap Day is Josiah Carberry Day at Brown, though he never appears at his scheduled ‘lectures’ publicized on the Brown events page. Cracked pots are stationed around campus to collect fan donations to the Josiah S. Carberry fund.
Shopping PeriodAt the beginning of every semester, students can shop ‘til they drop — filling up their course “carts” with classes from any department and selecting their favorites over a period of two weeks.
Ratty ChallengeIf you’re running low on meal credits, looking for an endless supply of coffee or just seeking bragging rights, you can attempt the “Ratty challenge” — remaining at the Sharpe Refectory from opening time (7:30 a.m.) until closing (7:30 p.m.).
Spicy WithThe spicy chicken sandwich with cheese is a popular staple at Josiah’s. Order one before you graduate, but make sure you call the sandwich by its more common name, the “Spicy With.”
Lessons and CarolsSince 1917, the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life has presented a Service of Lessons and Carols, a musical holiday tradition that currently features the Brown University Chorus, the Brown Brass Quartet and University Organist Mark Steibach. Photo by Sam Kase.
GalaEvery spring semester, Brown University Class Coordinating Board invites the entire student body to a campus-wide dance at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. The event basically gives students a second chance at prom and is known for its legendary long lines to get on the shuttle bus. Courtesy of BlogDailyHerald.
John Hay's NoseA bust of John Hay perched in the lobby of the John Hay Library. It was customary for students to rub his nose for good luck in their exams. Hopefully he’ll stick around after renovations — students’ grade point averages might depend on it. Photo by Justina Lee.
Heavy PettingFor years, Brown University Health Services has sponsored “Heavy Petting,” an event on the Main Green in which faculty and staff members bring their dogs to campus to help relax students who are stressed about upcoming exams or just life in general. Photo courtesy of Brown Health Services.
PerkinsThis year’s first-years were not so lucky in the love department after Perkins Hall became sophomore housing. There have been longstanding rumors that most Brown marriages spawn from isolated first-year Perkins romances.
SexPowerGodSponsored by the Brown Queer Alliance, SexPowerGod is an annual party thrown in the fall semester that has become notorious because of its racy promotional campaigns and Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of the event in 2005. Photo by BlogDailyHerald.
Tray SleddingEvery time snow hits campus, it’s not uncommon for students to steal trays from the Ratty to use as sleds down many of College Hill’s hills. Sorry not sorry. Herald file photo.
University Hall GhostAccording to Providence Ghost Tours, the ghost of a soldier can sometimes be spotted in the second-floor window of University Hall, the first building to be constructed on campus. Herald file photo.
Chicken Finger FridayStudents flock to the Vernon-Wooley dining hall every Friday to get their hands on some delicious chicken fingers. Some students have even coined the expression TGICFF: “Thank God It’s Chicken Finger Friday.”
Soldier's ArchAccording to legend, if you kiss someone at midnight under Soldier’s Arch, you will marry that person! So think twice before bringing your date on a moonlight walk through Simmons Quad.
Spring WeekendSince 1950, the campus has hosted annual celebrations including a carnival and multiple concerts. Over the years, performers have included Bob Dylan, U2, Janis Joplin, Ray Charles and MGMT. Photo by Emily Gilbert.
Naked Donut RunDon’t be surprised if you’re handed a munchkin by a naked classmate as you’re studying for finals—the Naked Donut Run is a tradition that dates back to the late 1980s. Photo by Emily Gilbert.
Dave BinderSince 1987, Greek Council has brought performer and now Brown icon Dave Binder to campus on the Sunday of Spring Weekend to perform classics and sing-alongs. Photo by BlogDailyHerald.
SciLi ChallengeRisk-seeking students challenge their livers and the Department of Public Safety by taking on the SciLi challenge — a walk up the Science Library’s stairs with a shot on every one of the building’s 14 floors. Photo by Caroline Granoff.
Wednesday Night WhiskeyFish Co., WhisCo, or the Whiskey Republic — though the bar at 515 South Water Street has seen several incarnations, it has remained a Wednesday night staple for students looking for a weeknight rage. Photo by Alan Shan.
Loui's Whether 5 a.m. is the end of your night or the beginning of your day, you can get a delicious Loui’s breakfast complete with eggs, pancakes and mimosas before the sun rises over Providence. The cozy diner has been a fixture of campus life for 67 years. Herald file photo.