<p>Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons will officially open the 2007-08 academic year at Opening Convocation, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007. Arnold Weinstein, distinguished author and professor of comparative literature, will deliver this year’s keynote address to the 2,125 students beginning undergraduate, graduate, and medical studies at Brown. The ceremony begins at noon on The College Green.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Noted author Arnold Weinstein, the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, will address the Brown University undergraduate Class of 2011, as well as entering graduate and medical students, during Opening Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007, at noon on The College Green. Weinstein’s address is titled “Reading Proust, Tracking Bears, at Brown.”

The ceremony will begin with the traditional procession of incoming students through the Van Wickle Gates. University President Ruth J. Simmons will declare the 244th academic year officially open. Brown welcomes 1,486 first-year students, 463 graduate students, 112 medical students, 56 transfer students, and eight students in the Resumed Undergraduate Education program.

Arnold Weinstein

Arnold Weinstein received his B.A. in Romance languages from Princeton University and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University. Weinstein joined the faculty at Brown University in 1968. He was promoted to associate professor in 1973, to full professor in 1978, and was named to the Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in 1990. In 1995, Weinstein became the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature.

Weinstein is the author of six books, including A Scream Goes Through the House: What Literature Teaches Us About Life (Random House, 2003) and Recovering Your Story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison (Random House, 2006). He has published articles on American, French, German and Scandinavian literature. He was associate editor of the journal Literature and Medicine from 1998 to 2003, and he edited a special volume of Literature and Medicine: Infection and Contagion in 2003. Weinstein’s numerous awards and honors include a special fellowship to the Freie Universität Berlin (1962-63), a Woodrow Wilson National Teaching Fellowship (1963-64), a Fulbright grant (1966-67), a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1971-72, a Fulbright Professorship in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1982-83, a stint as professeur invité in American literature at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1996, and a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship in 1997–98. He received the John Rowe Workman Award for Best Teacher in the Humanities in 1995. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey asked him to give four lectures on William Faulkner, to be produced online in her Summer Book Club.

Weinstein has given six courses for The Teaching Company, producing hundreds of lectures in audio, video and DVD format. He has also been director of “Texts & Teachers” from its inception in 1998 to 2006. Texts & Teachers is an NEH- and Brown University-funded collaborative program in educational reform, designed to create a partnership between the university professoriate, high school English teachers, and their respective students.

Class of 2011

Members of the Class of 2011 applied during one of the most competitive undergraduate admission processes in Brown’s history. A total of 19,097 students applied; 2,681 were accepted (14 percent), yielding a matriculating class of 1,486.

Other Class of 2011 statistics include:

  • Gender: 668 men (45%) and 818 women (55%);
  • Diversity: 35 percent of the Class of 2011 are students of color;
  • Fourteen percent of the students are first-generation college students;
  • High Schools: 835 students come from public schools (56 percent); 463 from private schools (31 percent); 131 from parochial schools (9 percent); and 57 from other schooling environments (4 percent);
  • Academic interests: Intended areas of study are life and medical sciences (25 percent); social sciences (24 percent); physical sciences (22 percent); humanities (16 percent); undecided (12 percent)
  • Geographic distribution: New England (22 percent); Mid Atlantic (16 percent); New York (14 percent); California (12 percent); international (10 percent);
  • States and countries: The Class of 2011 hails from 46 states and 49 nations. The top five foreign countries represented are Canada, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, and India.