This summer Brown added a load of horse sense to its sometimes contentious relationship with the City of Providence: it purchased Bruno, a sixteen-hand, 1,200-pound Belgian draft horse for the police department’s mounted patrol.

As a nonprofit institution Brown uses city services from the fire and police departments without paying any taxes. Although the University makes up for this by contributing about $400 million annually to the Rhode Island economy, Bruno may now be one of the most visible symbols of its town-and-gown relationship.

“We do a number of things to help our relationships with our neighbors,” says Russell Carey ’91, executive assistant to the president. In view of this, he adds, the purchase of the horse from a farm in Kingston, Ontario, “seemed logical.”

Bruno’s handler, Officer Harold Zacks, had never ridden a horse before joining the mounted patrol to ride Bruno. Thanks to his new charge, he says, people are suddenly friendlier to him. “I’ve met people from every state in the country,” he says proudly. “They walk up to me and say, ‘I love the smell of manure in the street.