2002 Senior Oration: ‘A Confluence of Differences’

5/27/02: “The confluence of three holy rivers – the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati – is a sacred place of worship for Hindus. It represents the intersection of faith, tradition and holiness in India. Half way across the world, at Brown, I have found another sacred place where intellectual pursuit, freedom of thought, and infinite imagination, all converge here on a 238-year-old campus.” So began Maithili Parekh ’02’s senior oration during Brown’s undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Parekh spoke about her experience as an international student at Brown and the confluence of differences at the University. An international relations concentrator, Parekh was involved in many aspects of Brown’s international student community.
She was a founder and coordinator of the International Mentoring Program, a peer-support program for about 150 incoming international freshmen each year at Brown. She also served as an undergraduate representative on the Advisory Committee on University Planning (ACUP), and requested an increase in financial aid for international students.
Additionally, Parekh served as president of the Brown International Organization, which plans activities for the diverse group of Brown’s more than 600 international students. She served as an academic chair for the South Asian Students Organization and a Meiklejohn Advisor to the academic concerns of first-year students.