Weekly Brown Snapshot: The Van Wickle Gates
Brown University is quite the beautiful place to be. From the luscious green spaces to the eclectic architecture, the old collegiate lecture halls to the most high-tech of class rooms, there always seems to be something to look at on College Hill. The Weekly Brown Snapshot is a column from Bruin Club member Eddie Re dedicated to bringing you authentic glimpses of Brown that range from the gorgeous to the awe-inspiring to the quirky, and the stories that accompany them.
These gates play some hard-to-get. Not only is it hard to get into Brown, and therefore earn the right to walk through them, but even once you’re here, you can’t go through them again until graduation. You mostly just walk past or around them, wondering what it feels like to go through them. I am ashamed to admit that when I first entered the gates, I didn’t take a mental survey. I barely remember it. But the next time I go through the Van Wickle Gates, upon graduating from this place, I’ll remember.
What’s all this hullabaloo about? Why aren’t there more words like hullabaloo? Well, the Van Wickle Gates are highlighted in one of the most famous myths around campus. It is an unconfirmed myth that a Brown student may only pass through the gates twice during their career at this school — once at Convocation upon entering as freshmen, and again at Commencement upon graduation — lest some dastardly things occur. For male students, passing through the gates too many time will cause them to not graduate. For female students, it will preclude them forever from getting married.
Was this the intention of Augustus Stout Van Wickle, Class of 1876, who generously paid for these cast-iron bad boys? To condemn the less careful females out there to lives of loneliness? I don’t know. All I know is that it’s a wonderful thing that the side gates are open year-round and are not cursed.
*It should be noted that this picture was not taken in September. New England weather can be harsh… but not that harsh…
Are you a Brown student who has a picture of our school that would fit well here? Perhaps one of your student groups in action, or one of your favorite spots on campus? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a blurb and the photo attached, and you might see it here!