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Distributed August 26, 2004
Contact Kristen Cole

241st Opening Convocation
Anthropologist Kay Warren To Address New Students Sept. 7

Political anthropologist and Latin Americanist Kay Warren will deliver the Opening Convocation address Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004, at noon on The College Green. Brown welcomes 1,434 first-year students, 420 graduate students, 77 medical students, 112 transfer students and eight Resumed Undergraduate Education students to the 241st academic year.

The text of Warren’s address is now available online.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Political anthropologist and Latin Americanist Kay Warren will deliver the keynote address at Brown’s 241st Opening Convocation, Sept. 7, 2004, at noon on The College Green. The ceremony will begin with a procession of faculty, administrators and students through the Van Wickle Gates.

Warren, the Charles B. Tillinghast Jr. Professor in International Studies, professor of anthropology, and director of the Politics, Culture and Identity Program at the Watson Institute for International Studies, will deliver a speech titled “Creative Minds.” Warren will examine Brown’s unique qualities: its rich educational environment, its mix of interdisciplinary programs, its diversity of students, and its strong leadership.

Brown President Ruth J. Simmons will declare the academic year officially open and will welcome 1,434 first-year students, 420 new graduate students, 77 medical students, 112 transfer students, and eight students in the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program.

Warren researches cultural and political dimensions of Japanese foreign aid; counterinsurgency wars and community responses to violence and peace processes in Latin America; activist intellectuals in social movements; and the anthropology of multicultural democracies. As one who studies culture and violence, inequality, economic and social development, she has a deliberately global scope to her work.

After earning her doctorate in cultural anthropology at Princeton in 1974, Warren rose through the ranks at Mt. Holyoke College and in 1982 returned to Princeton, where she served as the founding director of the Women’s Studies Program and chair of the Anthropology Department. After 16 years on the Princeton faculty, Warren left her alma mater to join the Harvard faculty and, five years later in the fall of 2003, joined Brown.

“Since I am a cultural anthropologist who joined the faculty just last year, consider this a participant-observer report from another pair of fresh eyes,” she said of her talk.

The Class of 2008

  • Brown will welcome 1,434 new students in September, selected from a pool of 15,286 applicants. The overall admit rate for the Class of 2008 is 16.4 percent, and for early decision applicants, 29 percent.
  • Women account for 52 percent of the incoming class, 746 women to 688 men.
  • The class includes 158 high school valedictorians – culled from 1,045 who applied – and 71 salutatorians from the 491 who applied.
  • More than 7,000 students applied from schools that do not provide rank. Nearly as many students – 6,173 – applied from the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
  • Ninety percent of matriculating students were in the top 10 percent of their class.
  • All 50 states and 39 countries are represented in the Class of 2008. Foreign citizens make up 6 percent of the population.
  • Five percent of the students – 71 in all – are from Rhode Island.
  • Thirty percent of the entering students are students of color. Additionally, 10 percent of the students did not indicate their ethnicity. Among those who did, 14 percent are Asian American, 8 percent are Latino American, 7 percent are African American, and 1 percent are Native American.
  • Thirty-seven percent of the incoming students intend to study math and science; 23 percent, the humanities; 20 percent, social sciences; and 9 percent engineering. Twelve percent are undecided.
  • The majority of students hail from public schools. Fifty-five percent are public high school graduates, 35 percent, private school graduates; and 7 percent parochial school graduates.


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