Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

In Deo Speramus: The Symbols and Ceremonies of Brown University

March 2014 - December 2015

The symbols and ceremonies of Brown University embody its unique history, values, and identity. Many of these symbols, such as the shield that rises above the Van Wickle Gate, are emblazoned in architecture. Others, including the Alma Mater, are made material in song. Brown's mascot, the Bear, animates campus spirit on the athletic field and beyond. Formal academic processions during convocation and commencement display Brown's social order and its changing human fabric. These symbols and ceremonies establish solidarity within Brown's community and transcend its campus to make connections to the wider social spheres of which Brown is a part. On the occasion of the University's 250th anniversary, this exhibit assembles Brown's symbols so that we may see and hear what they have to say. This exhibit was made possible through funding from the Brown University 250th Anniversary.