The news that Ruth Simmons would end her presidency was only one of the big stories last year. The med school opened a home in downtown Providence; more buildings either opened or renovated (including Metcalf, top); and the University flashed a spotlight on China, even as Japanese students (middle) tried to absorb the news of the devasting earthquake that hit their country. Brown also celebrated raising $1.6 billion to fund Simmons's Plan for Academic Enrichment (bottom). See more highlights at

Photos by Mike Cohea