• Brown University

Brown University: College of Character


Brown’s Charter of 1764 defined the college as a place that prepared students for lives of “usefulness and reputation,” and leaders at Brown believe that the values initiative will promote and enhance the ability of students to discern what is necessary for a good life.

Initiative for the Study of Values Brown University introduced during the l999-2000 academic year a comprehensive initiative to promote sustained, focused study and discussion of fundamental human values. The Initiative, named after Stephen Robert who was Brown’s l9th chancellor, includes a new course oriented toward entering freshmen, a symposium on participatory citizenship, and a series of public lectures and seminars.

Curricular Innovations

The Initiative for the Study of Values is designed to spread the study of values throughout the curriculum by the 2002-03 academic year and involve faculty in all academic departments.

Aspects of the Value Initiative:

  • Freshman values courses
  • Department-based values curriculum
  • Undergraduate honors thesis award will offer an annual prize for the best senior honors thesis that addresses a significant question in the area of human goods and values
  • Values research fund
  • Values Colloquium
  • Lectures/seminar in ethics
  • Fellowships for graduate teaching assistants
  • Public lectures

Community Service

More than l500 students participate in community service each year through Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service.

Providence, Rhode Island

This information was submitted at time of nomination.