Brown University
#34 Overall Influence#7 Desirability Rank

Brown University

University in Providence, Rhode Island

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By James Barham, PhD

Brown began life as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (officially) or Rhode Island College (unofficially). It is the twelfth-oldest institution of higher learning in the US.

Rhode Island College was established in the town of Warren on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, a few miles south of the city of Providence. The school moved to Providence in 1770.

The College was established by a group of Baptist ministers (that being the religious affiliation of Rhode Island’s founder, Roger Williams), working in close cooperation with Quakers (Friends), Congregationalists, and Anglicans (Episcopalians). The College’s charter stated that there was to be no religious test for entrance.

A family consisting of four brothers—Nicholas, John, Joseph, and Moses Brown—was heavily involved in the College’s affairs from the beginning. Joseph Brown was a professor of Physics there, and John Brown served as treasurer for some 20 years during the Revolution and after.

In addition, Nicholas’s son, Nicholas Brown, Jr., was a very successful businessmen who made a series of generous gifts to the College to boost its endowment. In 1804, the College expressed its gratitude to the Brown family by changing its name to the present one.

Brown is linked to seven Nobel Prize laureates, namely,:

  • Physicists, Leon Cooper & J. Michael Kosterlitz
  • Chemist, Lars Onsager
  • Physiologists, George Snell & Craig Mello
  • Economists, George Stigler & Vernon Smith

Other notable faculty and alumni include:

  • Early-20th century Japanese scholar, educator, and social reformer, Fukuzawa Yukichi
  • Financier and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
  • Psychiatrist, Aaron T. Beck
  • Novelists, Jeffrey Eugenides & Edwidge Danticat
  • Singer, Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Actresses, Laura Linney & Emma Watson
  • Film director, Todd Haynes
  • Radio personality, Ira Glass
  • Media mogul, Ted Turner
  • Entrepreneur and investor; John Scully III
  • Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination candidate, Andrew Yang
  • Economist and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen
  • Former US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke
  • Former World Bank President, Jim Young Kim

From Wikipedia

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Source: Wikipedia


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The Campus

Where will you be attending?


One Prospect Street, Providence RI 02912

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

14 per 100k

Violent Crime

0 per 100k

Influential People

Who are Brown University's Most influential alumni?

Brown University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of . Brown University’s most academically influential people include Thomas O. Paine, Greg Costikyan, and Sarah Ruhl.

Thomas O. Paine
Thomas O. Paine

American scientist

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Greg Costikyan
Greg Costikyan

Game designer

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Sarah Ruhl
Sarah Ruhl

American writer

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Ridley Pearson
Ridley Pearson

American writer

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Gareth Cook

American journalist and editor

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Tom Geismar

American graphic designer

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Rick Moody
Rick Moody

Fiction writer

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Nicanor Parra
Nicanor Parra

Chilean writer, poet, mathematician, and physicist

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Jeff Stibel

American businessman

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Curtis Yarvin

American computer scientist and political theorist

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Aneel Bhusri
Aneel Bhusri

Computer executive

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Eldar Shafir
Eldar Shafir


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