Useful news for Brown parents
Brown Parents Newsletter
Issue No. 16, December 2016

Dear families,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. Campus has been buzzing with activity this fall and time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that we welcomed many of you for Family Weekend. We hope that those of you who were able to come to College Hill enjoyed a sample of the wide array of intellectual and social life available as well as the opportunity to catch up with your students. Since the U.S. election season provided an extra level of activity on campus, we provided students with the resources necessary to navigate the impact on our community.

Because students are now in final exams and completing their semester, we recently reminded them of the many University resources to help them manage their coursework (including deans’ open hours) and take care of their health. A quick reference guide for students is available on the Campus Life website. While academic and administrative offices will be closed from December 23, 2016 to January 3, 2017, emergency services will be available, as they are during all University breaks.

January 2017 will offer Brown’s inaugural Wintersession, with courses that immerse students in a distinctive educational experience. Ten new courses — on-campus, destination, or online — allow for intensive and hands-on learning in an energizing and engaging environment. We hope that this year or during a subsequent January your student will consider participating in this exciting program.

We wish you a healthy and happy Winter Break and look forward to welcoming your student back to campus in January.

Maud S. Mandel
Dean of the College
Professor, History and
Judaic Studies

Eric S. Estes
Vice President for
Campus Life

Giving to Brown

Important Dates

December 8–12
Reading Period

December 13–21
Final Exam Period

December 22
Dorms close for Winter Break;
Wintersession online courses begin

January 3
Wintersession classes begin on campus

January 21
Dorms reopen for spring semester

January 25
Spring semester classes begin

February 18–21
Long weekend holiday

March 25–April 2
Spring Break

Parent Resources

Commencement 2017: Sunday, May 28
Parents & Families web site: everything families need to navigate Brown
Counseling & Psychological Services: free and confidential for any student
LINK Award Program: financial support for unpaid internships
BrownTogether: Brown’s comprehensive campaign
News from Brown: subscribe for weekly updates
Brown Daily Herald: subscribe for the student newspaper


Resource Highlight image

President Paxson’s Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown called for increased opportunities for students to bridge theory and practice during their time at Brown. BrownConnect expands access to internships, research opportunities, and the worldwide Brown alumni community, thus helping students enhance their

on–campus learning and make better, more informed career choices after graduation.

• Connects students with alumni and parent employers who are looking specifically for Brown students to fill high-quality internship positions;
• Ensures that internship and research opportunities are accessible regardless of financial circumstances by linking students to a variety of funding opportunities;
• Partners with CareerLAB to increase opportunities for students to access the global network of Brown alumni, parents, and friends.


Did You Know?

The Swearer Center for Public Service serves as a hub for students, faculty, staff, and community partners to connect and engage in scholarship and action for just and healthy communities locally, nationally and globally. Under the new leadership of Mathew Johnson, associate dean of engaged scholarship and Swearer Center director, the Center released a strategic plan this spring. The plan features a new model of engaged education and of partnership with communities, including the creation of programs such as the Bonner Community Fellows Program and the strengthening of current programs such as the Engaged Scholars Program — another priority outlined in “Building on Distinction.”


Sophomores and concentration decisions

Sophomores and concentration decisions (deadline for most 4th semester students is April 1, 2017)

April 1, 2017, is the deadline for students in their fourth semester to file an online concentration declaration. A concentration is similar to what other schools call a major — it is an in-depth study centering on a discipline

or disciplines, and it is the focal point for a student’s undergraduate educational experience. The goal of the concentration is for students to gain command of an area of knowledge sufficient to equip them to engage in meaningful creative efforts in that area. One faculty member serves as concentration advisor for each area of study at Brown. Once a concentration declaration has been approved, the advisor in that area of study becomes the student’s official advisor.

Is your student uncertain where to go for advice or guidance on this process? Our online concentration site Focal Point is the best place to begin; it has all the information a student needs to explore concentration options and locate advisors. Students should also reach out to their sophomore advisor, academic deans, and/or the concentration advisors within their chosen field of study for help with decision-making, requirements, and the actual process of filing.

Opening for Spring Semester

Opening for Spring Semester

On–campus residences open for Spring Semester on the morning of Saturday, January 21, 2017. At that time, students’ Brown Cards will once again allow access into the residence halls. Students who require on-campus housing before residence halls open for Spring Semester must fill out a spring early arrival housing request.

Students enrolled in a Wintersession course should visit the Wintersession website for information about housing and meal plans.

Any winter weather impact on classes and campus activities will be posted on the Brown home page and Students who have entered their cell phone numbers into their Banner Personal Information receive emergency text broadcasts directly to their phones. Any changes in service will be emailed to students and posted on

Other comments, questions or ideas?
We welcome your feedback via email at and via mail at Brown Parents Program, Box 1893, Providence, RI 02912, USA.

Past Newsletters

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Brown Parents Program
Brown University, Box 1893, Providence, RI 02912, USA