Thanks, Brown

July 22nd, 2009

I just finished reading the May/June BAM and was overwhelmed by how much I appreciate what Brown did for me, does for students, and aspires to be. I loved the stories about grad students studying oral histories in the Fox Point Neighborhood ("Everyday History"). In addition, the piece about Brown's choice to develop an independent bookstore with a local coffee vendor demonstrates how the University embraces cultural, social, and environmental concepts of sustainability ("Latte with That Novel?," Elms). Brown chose the option that promoted community, and the bookstore's apparent success demonstrates that sustainability can be accomplished without economic loss.

I further read "Since Last Time" (Elms) about Brown curtailing its carbon emissions by eight percent last year. It's a small increment toward zero emissions, but a major signal to alums that Brown maintains an interest in climate change.

Finally, the establishment of the fund for the Education of Children of Providence, and the addition of ten MAT graduates committed to teaching urban schools, seems such a positive response to come out of the University Steering Committee's report on slavery and justice ("Since Last Time," Elms).

As an academic, I have been affiliated with numerous universities since graduating, and one thing always seems to set Brown apart: the University takes actions that demonstrate it cares about its students and its community. That makes me proud to be affiliated with my alma mater.

Karen Kohfeld '90
Vancouver, Canada

The writer is assistant professor and Canada Research Chair for Climate, Resource, and Global Change at Simon Fraser University.


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July/August 2009