Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Gist of Being a Brownie

In exactly one week, I will be attending the prestigious Ivy League, Brown University. Before entering this top-notch institution, it is important to be acquainted with its culture and prodigies. 

This medium-sized, four-year, private institution is a coed college located in the small, urban city of Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, it is the seventh-oldest university of America. Brown's liberal principles have foundations dating back hundreds of years. It was the first university in the United States to accept students regardless of their religious affiliations. 

Brown offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The most popular majors offered are social sciences, biology, computer and information sciences, mathematics, visual and performing arts, area and ethnic studies, engineering, and interdisciplinary studies. All these studies interest me, I can't pick! 

The university's Graduate School also offers a number of graduate studies, the most well-known being its programs in English and history and the Warren Alpert Medical School. 

The Ivy is unique for its open curriculum. It is the only research university in the United States which allows its students to plan their own course of study under the guidance of a Brown faculty member. Students have the freedom of creating their own courses while not being limited by general education requirements. This uniqueness is one of my favorite factors about Brown! 

The Brown Bears have 35 NCAA Division I athletic teams. Brown is most well known for its men's soccer team which ranks among the top 25 teams of the nation.
The excelling Brown Bears soccer team
There are about 400 student organizations and clubs on campus. These organizations range from The Brown Jug Comedy to Brown Ballroom Dance to the Brown Band. There is a small, yet active Greek community composed of ten chapters. Students have plenty of options to pursue their interests. 

The culture of university is integrated with small town of Providence. The famous Thayer Street is a busy center for feasting and shopping. 

Over time, Brown has produced seven Noble Prize winners, including Craig C. Mello, Jerry White, Lars Onsager, George Stigler, Vernon L. Smith, George Davis Snell, and Leon Neil Cooper. It has also generated fifty-five Rhodes Scholars, ten National Medal of Science laureates, five National Humanities Medalists, and several Fulbright, Marshall, and Mitchell scholars. Other alumni include a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, four U.S. Secretaries of States, and fifty-three members of U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. 

Since June 18, 1901, the iconic Van Wickle Gates serve as a symbol for the prestigious Brown University and its esteemed history. The Van Wickle Gates have a pair of center gates and a smaller gate on each side. The smaller gates remain open throughout the year, however the central gates are open only twice a year. The central gates are first open in the beginning of the academic year during the Convocation, when first-year students ceremoniously enter the campus and are welcomed by the Brown community. The last time the gates are open in the academic year is on the Commencement Day, when a traditional procession of graduating seniors, led by members of the Brown community and the college band and supported by family and friends, bid farewell to Brown University. 

According to a very famous superstition associated with the Van Wickle Gates, any Brown student who passes through the gates more than twice will not graduate and will be doomed with bad luck. Nonetheless, each year, the Van Wickle Gates open inward to embrace and educate a diverse student body and open outwards to release a group of great individuals to embark on successful journeys. I am very excited to personally see the symbolic Van Wickle Gates in my Ivy League Connection journey! 
My last year's ILC cohort posing in front of the iconic Van Wickle Gates. Perhaps one day I will enter these gates as a true Brownie. 

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