Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Brown University Glacier

The Brown University Glacier, named by Dora Keen in honor of her father, William Williams Keen 1859, is the main source of the Harvard Glacier which flows from the Chugach Mountains in Alaska into College Fjord at the northwest extremity of Prince William Sound. Miss Keen, as leader of an expedition, started to make the first exploration of this glacier on August 21, 1914.

Another glacier was named for Brown in 1913. Robert Cushman Murphy ’11, on one of his voyages for the American Museum of Natural History, gave the name Brunonia Glacier to a glacier which lies at the head of the westward extension of the Bays of Isles in South Georgia in the Antarctic.

Other natural phenomena bear the name of Brown. During World War II Austin N. Volk ’41, commanding officer of an LCT in the Solomon Islands, explored an uncharted river, which he named Brown Bear River. “Brunonia” planet is the name given in 1954, by Dr. S. Arend of the Royal Observatory in Belgium, to a planet originally discovered in 1948. Its official designation is “1570 Brunonia – 1948TX.” Dr. Arend wrote to Professor Charles H. Smiley at Brown, “This planet is named in honor of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. ... Its astronomical history dates back to the transit of Venus in 1769, observed by Prof. Benjamin West. Two local streets are named Planet and Transit. The naming of the planet is also a tribute to the international reputation of Dr. Smiley.” On a research cruise to the South Pacific in December-January 1990-91, Brown geologists participated in the discovery of several underwater volcanoes, among them one they named the “Carberry Seamount,” a very small seamount difficult to detect by ordinary means, a quality which Professor Donald Forsyth pointed out also applies to Josiah Carberry. Other seamounts discovered on the same cruise were named “Providence” and “Chapple,” the latter for geology professor William Chapple.