Commencement and Reunion Weekend 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018 – Sunday, May 27, 2018

The events included in this schedule are of particular interest to the students, alumni and guests of the School of Professional Studies (SPS). There are hundreds of events that occur throughout the weekend. For more comprehensive information, please see the Commencement and Reunion pages for details.

All or portions of Brown University events and their participants may be captured by photography or video and used for news or Brown promotional purposes.

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the School of Professional Studies and Brown University, I am very pleased to welcome graduating students, alumni, family, and friends to Providence for Brown’s Commencement and Reunion Weekend 2018. ​ Together, we will celebrate the most recent graduates from the IE Brown Executive MBA and Executive Master in Healthcare Leadership programs, as well as the inaugural graduating classes from the Executive Master in Cybersecurity and Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership programs.

Brown’s Commencement and Reunion Weekend offers opportunities to learn, explore our campus, enjoy events, and meet wonderful people from around the world. This will be the University’s 250th commencement— a truly special year. Congratulations to our graduates and thanks to the families that supported their achievements. Enjoy!


Karen Sibley
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Dean, School of Professional Studies
Vice Chair, Department of Education

Helpful Commencement Information 

  1. If you have any questions, please contact
  2. Graduate degree alumni attending reunion are not required to “register” through the Reunion Registration site, nor are items such as on-campus housing (dorms) available to graduate alumni.  However, some events, such as Campus Dance, require a purchased ticket that can be obtained in advance (see Friday, 9:00pm entry below).
  3. Brown’s campus extends from SPS up to College Hill and beyond.  Here’s a helpful campus map to orient you (note, SPS is located at 200 Dyer Street).
  4. Parking for the weekend on campus: You may leave your car in any of the University lots throughout campus. The two lots with the most spaces available are: the Erickson Complex, at the corner of Hope and Lloyd streets, and the Power Street lot (both lower and upper levels) at the corner of Power and Thayer streets. Obey all city parking laws as posted including but not limited to: rules for handicapped spaces, fire hydrants, and no parking zones. Important parking restrictions and street closures specific to the weekend can be found here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Hooding Ceremony for Executive Master in Cybersecurity, Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership, and Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership Classes of 2018
List Art Center Auditorium, 64 College Street, Room 120

This ceremony kicks off the weekend by honoring our graduates with their master’s hood. Dean Karen Sibley will lead the event, honoring each graduate of the four classes. Due to limited seating, each student will be allotted 2 guest tickets to this event.

The live webcast can be viewed here.

To reserve your Hooding Ceremony tickets, please click here

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

School of Professional Studies Welcome Reception
List Art Center, 64 College Street, List Art Center Lawn Tent

Join the School of Professional Studies in celebrating the 2018 graduates of our four executive masters programs.  Friends and family of the graduates and alumni are welcome as well as those curious to learn more about these rigorous and dynamic programs.   Drinks and hors-d’oeuvres will be served.

Receive an invitation for this event by contacting, though walk-ins are welcome.

9:00 pm – 1:00 am

Campus Dance (Ticket Required)
College Green, College Hill

One of Brown’s best-loved Commencement and Reunion traditions, Campus Dance brings together more than 11,000 people to dance under the stars. The College Green is transformed into an outdoor ballroom with a giant dance floor with guests dancing to the Duke Belaire Orchestra. Meet your classmates at the three School of Professional Studies tables reserved at the dance.

The Campus Dance online box office is open April 15th, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended to avoid “day-of” lines.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Brown University President’s Welcome
Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from President Christina Paxson. Enjoy coffee and conversation with the president’s Cabinet and campus administrators.

11:00 am – 11:50 am

Forum: Politics, Patients & Price: The Ongoing Saga of US Healthcare Policy
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, Room 130, 85 Waterman Street

The United States spends more than any other country on healthcare, yet the return on this investment is not reflected in our overall population health.  Meanwhile, Congress and the White House continue to debate repealing or enhancing the Affordable Care Act.  What could revision mean for patients and the broader American public?  How might a new plan impact states?  What are the potential impacts on health practitioners, and the delivery and quality of care?  In this lively discussion, experts from Brown’s School of Public Health and the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership program will try to untangle the state of healthcare in the US.


Terrie Fox Wetle, MS, PhD
Dean, School of Public Health

Ira B. Wilson, MD
Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Professor of Medicine
Chair of Health Services, Policy and Practice

Peter Hollmann, MD
Executive Academic Director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership
Chief Medical Officer, University Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor, Warren Alpert Medical School

Vincent Mor, PhD
Florence Pirce Grant University Professor
Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice

Anya Rader Wallack, PhD
Acting Secretary for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in Rhode Island

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

School of Professional Studies: Professional Programs, Pre-College and Summer@Brown Information Center
The College Green near the entrance to Sayles Hall 

In addition to the four Executive Programs, drop by to learn about Brown’s robust Pre-College programs for 7th – 12th graders.  Staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding all of the offerings, including Summer@Brown (over 300 courses offered), Leadership Institute, STEM focused programs for middle school students, and location-based programs in Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Florida, Alaska, Georgia, and Rhode Island.

11:00 am – 11:50 am

Commencement Forum: Leadership and Innovation: Women Driving Change
 Salomon Center, Room 001

Description: Across industries, women are driving change through innovative approaches to today’s significant – and often disruptive – business challenges.  Do female leaders bring a different perspective?  Is this diversity at the top important?  If yes, why?  Join us for this lively discussion on leadership and innovation with female executives.

Theo Gray EMCS’18, Cybersecurity Consultant, PwC
Meryl Moss EMHL’15, COO, Coastal Medical
Amanda Pollak EMBA’18, Partner/Producer/Director, Insignia Films
Shannyn Timrott EMSTL’18, Director, Product Design & UX, Castlight Health

Sandra Smith, Program Director, Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership (EMSTL), Brown University

12:30 pm – 1:20 pm

Commencement Forum: Neuroengineering and Neurotechnology – the Promise of Robust and Effective Brain-Computer Interface for Clinical Applications
Co-sponsored by School of Engineering and School of Professional Studies
 Metcalf Research Building, Friedman Auditorium, 190 Thayer Street

Description: Neurotechnology is one of the fastest growing disciplines in the Biomedical Engineering  and Neuroscience communities, and the brain-computer interface (BCI) is a critical area of research for transformative science. This technology is also moving out of the laboratory and into clinical applications at a rapid pace. The panelists have been chosen to provide perspective on all areas of neurotechnology, from fundamental science to clinical applications and exciting start-up opportunities.

David Borton, Assistant Professor of Engineering
John Donoghue, Henry Merritt Wriston Professor of Neuroscience
Leigh Hochberg, Professor of Engineering
Steven Rasmussen, Mary E. Zucker Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Chair of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Tara Thiagarajan, Founder and Chief Scientist, Sapien Labs

Arto Nurmikko, L. Herbert Ballou University Professor of Engineering, Professor of Physics

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Graduate School Ceremony Rehearsal (Optional event for Executive Master candidates)
Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle

This rehearsal is optional for executive master candidates. An invitation-only reception follows nearby. Invitations to the reception are sent to students from the Graduate School in early May; contact with questions.

2:00pm – 4:00pm

IE Brown Executive MBA Award Ceremony (a current IE Brown Executive MBA graduate activity)
List Art Center, 64 College Street, Room 120 and then the List Art Center Lawn Tent

IE Brown Executive MBA Class of 2018 students and their guests are welcome to this program awards ceremony.  Reception to follow.

The live webcast can be viewed here.

Sunset— 8:10pm

WaterFire Providence  
Waterplace Park

WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park. Come enjoy a night stroll alongside the Providence river— stop by local food trucks or sidewalk stalls and browse artisanal crafts and snacks.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

9:00 am (graduates)

The Commencement Procession
Graduates meet on Waterman Street near Faunce Arch, 75 Waterman Street.

The walk through the Van Wickle Gates, one of Brown’s oldest and greatest traditions, brings together the entire Brown community. The procession steps off promptly at 9:45 am from Waterman Street. Current graduates and thousands of alumni participate in the procession, energized by cheering along the route. Comfortable shoes are recommended and prepare for long periods of standing.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm (graduates)

Masters Diploma Ceremony
Pembroke Field Tent, between Brook and Hope Streets and between Cushing and Manning Streets

The graduating classes of the IE Brown Executive MBA, Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership, Executive Master in Cybersecurity, and Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership programs join all other Brown master’s degree students in receiving their diplomas at a ceremony under the Graduate School tent on Pembroke Field. All are welcome. Seating under the tent may be limited.

The live webcast can be viewed here.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Executive Masters Closing Celebration
Andrews Dining Hall, 211 Bowen Street

Come enjoy light fare and a final farewell before the weekend comes to a close.

Brown University School of Professional Studies

Congratulations, Graduates!