Unforgettable moments: Reunion 2023 in photos and video

Reunion Weekend brought a record-breaking 5,000+ alumni and guests to campus for a memorable celebration with Brunonians across the generations.

Maybe it was the astonishing number of returning alumni. The countless hugs, high-fives, and celebrations. Or perhaps the perfect weather. For Brunonians returning to College Hill for Reunion May 26-28, 2023, it all added up to one magical weekend. 

Over the course of three days, alumni and their families met up with friends and classmates, explored every corner of campus (both old and new!), reveled in some of Brown’s most beloved traditions, and cheered on the Class of 2023 as they officially joined the alumni community.

Brown Reunion 2023


Alumni soaked in the joy of being back on campus and back together.

New for 2023

  • Complete with food trucks, a 21+ beer garden, summertime tunes, Del’s lemonade, and family-friendly activities galore, the first-ever Bruno’s Block Party was a great way to ring in the unofficial start of summer in true Rhode Island style. Live animal touch-tanks from Mystic Aquarium, professional sand sculpture artists, a giant sandbox, and photo ops with Bruno himself made this new event a favorite for alumni and families. 
  • On Saturday night, a Pub Night for the Classes of 2018-2022 featured craft brews from Rhode Island's own Narragansett Beer, pub food, lawn games, karaoke, and more.
  • Brunonians gathered for a memorial program to celebrate the life and legacy of Eli Wolff ’00, beloved member of the Brown community, co-chair of the emerging disability and neurodiversity alumni affinity group, and a leading advocate for athletes with disabilities worldwide. 
  • At the brand new LGBTQ Center at Stonewall House, the Brown Alumni Pride Association (BAPA) hosted a brunch reception that brought graduating students and their families together with alumni, faculty, and staff. 
  • A family breakfast on the front green hosted by the Brown University Latino Alumni Council (BULAC) gave alumni and families a chance to welcome the Class of 2023 to the alumni community. 

Time-honored traditions

It wouldn’t be Reunion without these events that set the stage for an unforgettable tapestry of weekend memories.

  • There truly is nothing like Campus Dance, when 12,000+ Brunonians float between the College Green and Simmons Quad under a sky lit with hundreds of paper lanterns. 
  • Friday’s Unity Celebration honored the diversity of the Brunonian community as leaders from the five alumni affinity groups presented gifts to representatives from the Class of 2023 and raised a glass to their accomplishments. 
  • Unity Funk Nite—a revival of an old Brown tradition with a multicultural twist—brought alumni together for an evening of dancing, music, and fun. 
  • The Commencement Procession saw Brunonians young and old lining the streets of College Hill to cheer for each other and the latest cohort of alumni joining their ranks—the 1,682 newly minted graduates of the Class of 2023.

Medical School celebrations

During a weekend of festivities, alumni from The Warren Alpert Medical School reaching back to the Class of 1978 gathered to lead the MD Class of 2023 to their graduation ceremony. Chief Marshal AnneMarie A. Spooner Ortiz ’94 MD’98 marched with the caduceus staff as alumni cheered for their classmates and fellow Brunonians. 

During a Grand Finale event to cap off the 15-month celebration of 50 Years of Medicine, more than 300 alumni, faculty, and students raised a glass to the culture of curiosity, creativity, and inventive spirit that has shaped the paths of thousands of Brunonian physicians. The evening also included a presentation by the Brown Medical Alumni Association of their annual recognition and service awards.

Class celebrations

Between cocktail receptions, dancing, lunch events, multi-course dinners, discussions with faculty members, customized tours, and more, each class found a special way to celebrate this Reunion year. 


Events for all Brown communities

Reunion isn’t just about celebrating a connection to Brown, it also brings alumni together around shared identities and interests. Each of Brown’s alumni affinity groups hosted gatherings—from an Asian/Asian American Alumni Alliance (A4) celebration with student group performances to community dinner with the Native American Brown Alumni (NABA)—and Brunonians gathered for receptions with fellow veterans, Brown Daily Herald and WBRU alumni, academic departments, and more. Alumni from the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program were on hand to help the program celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Intellectual exploration

Alumni and families gained fresh perspectives from expert faculty and alumni during a wide variety of forums throughout the weekend, with topics ranging from government policy to data science, public health, creating an age-friendly future, and more.

Other weekend highlights

  • Brown Alumni Association President Carlos Lejnieks ’00 delivered a powerful Baccalaureate address to the Class of 2023, speaking about his path to youth advocacy and his appreciation for his mentor, Professor Emeritus Barrett Hazeltine.
  • Honorary degree recipient Bernicestine McLeod Bailey ’68, P’99, P’03 and her family reflected on the history and evolution of the Black community at Brown during “It’s a Family Affair: Perspectives from Two Generations of 60 years of Black Legacy and History at Brown.”
  • During Sunday’s Commencement ceremonies, President Christina H. Paxson implored the Class of 2023 to continue to value humanity in our technology-dominated world and U.S. Secretary of Commerce and honorary degree recipient Gina Raimondo encouraged graduates to consider both public service and staying local
  • Student speaker Hamidou Sylla urged the 886 master’s degree recipients to reflect on history’s lessons and leverage the power of a Brown education to oppose injustice. 
  • In her address to her 246 fellow doctoral degree recipients, student speaker Kathryn Thompson honored the trailblazers who paved the way for the Class of 2023, including the first woman, Black man, and Black woman to earn doctorates at Brown. 
  • After taking her officer’s oath during the Graduating Veterans and ROTC Recognition Ceremony, Raquel Ruiter ’23 became the first female Air Force officer to graduate from Brown on Sunday. Also recognized at the event were 17 graduating student veterans and four other ROTC cadets. 
  • For the Classes of 1981 and 1991, three more years was too long to wait before getting together. Both classes organized mini-Reunionson campus for ’81 and in both Boston and San Francisco for ’91—to reconnect with friends, classmates, and Brown.

Reunion class giving

Reunion classes not only came together to reminisce about their Brown experiences but also to pay it forward. This fiscal year, classes ending in 3s and 8s raised $23.9 million for the Brown Annual Fund. Eight classes, ranging from the Class of 2008 to the Class of 1958, set new Reunion Class Gift records. Together, their comprehensive gift (representing gifts to all Brown priorities over the last five years since their last Reunion in 2018) totaled a whopping $273,917,956.

Keep the celebration going

Did Reunion Weekend reignite your Bruno pride? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to stay connected to Brown and your fellow alumni all year long. 

Get involved with your class 

3s and 8s: Help keep the Reunion class spirit going! Sign up to learn more about becoming a class leader and the class leader nomination process. 

4s and 9s: Your Reunion is coming up in May 2024! Let us know if you’re interested in helping plan your Reunion or engaging your classmates in the year ahead by completing this quick form.