Student Life

Star Students

By Pippa Jack / June–August 2023
June 20th, 2023

joined a rock band freshman year of high school and by the time I got to Oxford, felt ready to front a jazz and blues outfit (to echo one of Chance Emerson’s bandmates, I was nowhere near as ready as I thought I was). At a friend’s 50th in London recently, I saw the rhythm guitarist—George, now a financial analyst—who told me he still has a copy of our one demo. I had forgotten such a thing even existed. It’s on a cassette tape in his shed, and next time I’m visiting, we have a plan: consume a pint or two of courage, play it, and have a good laugh/cringe.  

Even back then, I don’t think George or I thought music was what we’d be doing with our lives. Not so for Chance, the star of our cover story (written by former BAM intern Abigail Cain ’15). Chance came to Brown in fall 2019 and, starved for musical company, swiftly plugged himself into what he calls a “crazy little ecosystem” of creativity on College Hill. He put together a full band in record speed; his website lists March 6, 2020, as the date of their first gig. It “sold out” Andrews and the band was “subsequently banned as it was a dining hall and not a venue.” They’ve now opened for some of Brown’s most famous musical alums—the story starts on page 26—and as I write, the all-STEM-concentrators were using Reading Week to gig in San Francisco and LA. It’s a pretty good bet that Chance, whom Motif Magazine calls “the second coming of Paul Simon,” will still be playing music when he hits his 50th birthday. 

Olivia Pichardo was offered several athletic scholarships but came to Brown, which doesn’t offer any.

Students who could choose almost any university often choose to come explore on College Hill. One such is Olivia Pichardo ’26—she goes by Liv—who was offered several athletic scholarships but came to Brown, which, like the rest of the Ivy League, doesn’t offer any. She tried out with the baseball team as a walk-on in the fall and spent a couple of weeks practicing with them, surprising many. Captain Jacob Burley ’23 remembers one moment in the weight room. “We were doing this shoulder exercise, and she was kind of just standing behind me, and I was like, ‘what is she doing behind me?’” he told our student writer, Emma Madgic ’23. “I realized she was waiting for me to finish so she could do the same weight. And then I watched her do the lift. That was a moment when I was taken aback by her strength.” Fast forward to this spring and Liv’s unforgettable moment at Fenway (Emma’s story starts page 14). I have a feeling that Liv, too, will still be following her dream when she turns 50.

Speaking of student writers, this is the first issue, at least in recent memory, in which BAM has reprinted a story from the Brown Daily Herald. The two publications have worked side by side at Brown for more than 120 years and we’re lucky that many BDH writers go on to intern with us, so when I saw a story I thought readers would enjoy (page 18), it felt natural to ask whether we could share it with you. I hope you’ll agree the story is wonderful and explains much about the political acumen of so many Brown students, who, thanks to Professor Morone, will doubtless still be the savviest people in the room when they hit 50.

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Related Issue
June–August 2023