As a member of Bravman’s unique Freshman Sophomore College (FroSoCo), founded in 1999, my fellow FroSoCoans and I reflect on Bravman’s lasting legacy at Stanford University.
Bravman will be leaving Stanford University this June to assume his new responsibilities at Bucknell University on July 1. After serving eleven years as Stanford’s Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, Bravman stated in his email to the FroSoCo community last Monday: “anyone who knows me can easily imagine how difficult this decision has been.”
Bravman assured students that “a great new Dean” would take his place and expand existing FroSoCo programs. After establishing the residence, comprised of nearly 100 freshman and 60 sophomores, Bravman formed special programs including Dean’s Dinners, Sophomore Seminars, and Friday barbeques. Contrary to popular belief, unlike Structured Liberal Education (SLE), there are no required classes or mandatory activities at FroSoCo.
Eric Wu ’13, a fellow FroSoCo resident, believes that FroSoCo specifically represents “Bravman’s vision.” The opportunity to enjoy a catered meal with a faculty member at Dean Bravman’s house across the street, engage in a fun class taught by a fellow sophomore resident, and attend a good old-fashioned barbeque with friends on a regular basis truly distinguish FroSoCo from other residences on campus. Wu also stated: “ I just don’t know if FroSoCo will be the same without [Bravman].”
That being said, Wu believes that FroSoCo students have built their own community, that “what really characterizes FroSoCo is students’ intellectual exploration; [at FroSoCo] there is no pressure to conform to a party lifestyle.”
He expressed that essence of FroSoCo lies within its programs, and that as long as these programs continue, the spirit of FroSoCo would thrive in Bravman’s absence.
In addition to offering various extracurricular programs, FroSoCo also hosts a wealth of student staff and resident tutors. Sophomore Josh Lewis ’11, serves as one of FroSoCo’s Resident Computing Consultants (RCCs). Lewis stated that he returned to live in FroSoCo this year mainly because he liked the “quiet housing and big rooms.” He enjoys the “close-knit group of people,” and working as RCC offered him a “good way to make money while doing a minimal amount of work.”
According to Lewis, “Our lifestyle reflects the high-standards of academic life that Dean Bravman tries to uphold for all the students at Stanford.”
In regards to the University as a whole, Lewis believes that “Bravman’s involvement is a huge asset, and he will be missed.” However, Lewis believes that in regards to FroSoCo activities, Bravman’s “ absence will only affect current freshman and sophomore residents.”
After living in FroSoCo for nearly a year, Demoni Newman ’13 stated: “I’ve talked to Bravman quite a bit. I really like the fact that he’s not just around for scheduled Dean’s Dinner’s, but also for study and pizza breaks to talk one-on-one with students.”
When asked about her thoughts on future prospects for FroSoCoans after Bravman’s absence, resident Nupur Kantamneni ’13 acknowledged: “We’ll miss [Bravman], but I also trust that he cares about the Stanford community enough to ensure that students still get a lot of the same opportunities.” Kantamneni believes that Bravman “will do the best to take care of us because he knows what he started a decade ago was a really good thing.”
I too can testify to Bravman’s vital role in fostering such a strong, unique intellectual community. We wish him the best of luck as he embarks on an incredible journey with his new family.