PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Sydney Lo and Dhruv Singh are big believers in the importance of finding and building community.
Each of the two Brown graduates will speak about community as they address their Class of 2020 peers, who — after a two-year delay due to the global COVID-19 pandemic — will return to College Hill later this month for the time-honored tradition of celebrating Commencement.
For Lo and Singh, whose speeches were already well-developed before COVID forced the cancellation of Commencement and Reunion Weekend in 2020, it was a challenge to put into words exactly how it feels to return to campus after two years, but there was a noticeable excitement in both of their voices.
“I wrote this speech two and a half years ago, and it has grown and evolved as I have,” said Singh, who graduated with a concentration in international relations and is now a speechwriter for Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison.
Added Lo, who earned a degree in literary arts and biology and just completed her first year of medical school at the University of Minnesota: “It feels like it’s finally a chance for closure, but also a time to celebrate.”
Though they’re no longer Brown seniors, Lo and Singh will process with their classmates through the Van Wickle Gates and then deliver senior orations in typical Brown style on Saturday, May 28, in a dedicated, in-person Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony.
Commitment to community
Lo, who is from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, said she always had a passion for science and health, and arrived at Brown in 2017 knowing that medicine could be a likely career path. Even though she was raised by two parents who were physicians, her family ties were not the driving factor, she said.
“They did not push the physician path on me, instead encouraging me to find my own passions and interests,” Lo said. “Still, seeing their positive effect on community members in my hometown was very impactful. As I learned more about myself, my love of connecting with people along with my love of science and health, medicine just seemed to be the best fit. As a child, while I was very passionate about visual art and writing, I was also science-oriented, spending afternoons collecting baking soda and vinegar from neighbors for science experiments or catching tadpoles to observe their shift into frogs.”