Karen Berlin Ishii, alumna, Brown University Class of 1978
Asking what a "typical" student is at an institution of thousands of students studying hundreds of courses in dozens of departments offering multiple degrees seems unreasonable; nevertheless, people feel it is possible to characterize a community, though one risks caricature and overgeneralization. When I went to Brown (1974-1978), it was known for its then new curriculum, the only one in the country that did not require students to take core courses or fulfill distribution requirements. Its openness to maverick thinkers, cross-disciplinary study and out-of-the-box problem-solving attracted students who related to those values and approaches. As a former president of The Brown Club in NYC and active board member, I often hear our alumni joke that getting Brown grads to follow a protocol is like trying to herd cats. So, maybe it's still true!