The Bear Necessities: Bearer of Good News

Hi everyone! My name is James Ford, and I’m a third-year from San Francisco, CA. From swimming to intermurals to eating healthy on College Hill, The Bear Necessities is here to give you insights on balancing work with play during your time at Brown!IMG_4448

Above: Transfer students at Convocation 2016.

The end of the semester can be an emotional and stressful time. To seniors, it means saying goodbye to close friends and to College Hill for the time being. For underclassmen, it means senior mentors and friends leaving for new opportunities off Brown’s campus. While some seniors will be staying close to the Providence area, others will travel across the East Coast, across the United States, and even across the world to pursue working and learning opportunities. I am happy to be the bearer of good news: now is not the end of our senior friends’ connection with Brown, but the next progression in their personal stories.

I will be staying through commencement to say goodbye to my friends who are graduating and to experience many of the senior week Brown traditions, especially the Campus Dance.  I cannot wait to experience Campus Dance with lanterns hanging over the Main Green, illuminating the faces of friends new and old who celebrate the Brunonian spirit and the joy of being a member of the Brown community. Over the past year, my first on College Hill, I have learned to value the surroundings we all share and the greater Providence community we belong to, so I will take my graduating friends out to some of our favorite spots downtown, like Milk Money on the Providence River or Gracie’s Restaurant in Downcity. A stop by Mr. Lemon near Providence College is a must for some lemony, zingy goodness, and capturing the last light of the day at Prospect Park makes for unforgettable moments. Most of all, however, I am excited to spend some quiet moments with senior friends, such as a walk around campus and through the Maddock Center’s hidden gem of a garden or a final (for now) look at the Quiet Green through Rhode Island Hall’s light-flooded windows. These places connect us to our friends, our family, our Brunonia.

Thinking about the future is often a worrying experience, and there is a real value to thinking and living in the moment. At the same time, we have to be willing to accept the dual challenges and opportunities that come hand in hand with the future ahead of us. So let this 249th Commencement be a fitting tribute to our graduating seniors and a moment to reflect on our own overlapping stories as we celebrate the shared narratives that make us Brunonians.

Thanks for checking out this final installment of The Bear Necessities. Have any questions or comments? Send me an email at


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