In the evening, President Reinharz hosts an informal gathering of the Brandeis “family” in Delhi: alumni, parents of current students, and even some parents of students who have graduated. It’s a disparate group. The alumni themselves include graduates of the undergraduate college, as well as Heller and IBS. Some are Indians who have returned home after graduation; others are here for shorter stints. Brian Botnick ‘06, for example, is on leave from his real estate work in Ohio to spend several months in India focusing on issues of rural development.
Narinder Lamba, the father of Ishita Lamba ’11, has made a special effort to meet us. His family’s introduction to Brandeis was somewhat serendipitous. His daughter’s high school, Delhi Public School, is a large institution, with nearly 400 students in its graduating class. But until Ishita began doing her own homework, Brandeis barely registered among the DPS student body and the college counselors. But Ishita found in Brandeis the combination of size and quality and location that she wanted, and once her own experience was so positive, her father went on a campaign to shed more light on Brandeis at the high school. As a result, one of the counselors there has become a strong Brandeis supporter, and several DPS graduates have followed Ishita’s footsteps to Brandeis in the last two years. It’s a reminder that – in places where Brandeis can’t physically reach more than once a year – we have the opportunity to use enthusiastic parents and alumni more effectively to spread the word.
Sunil and Nita Kumar’s son Tejas ’11 is now at Columbia University, as part of our 3-2 arrangement that allows students to receive an engineering degree. His parents report that Tejas enjoys the study of engineering, but misses the warmth, the vibrancy, and the intimacy of the Brandeis campus. But in a country that still desperately needs engineers and where so many bright young people see a future for themselves in engineering, Brandeis might do well to make this 3-2 program more prominent in our marketing.
The evening revives some old connections, and creates some new ones, as well as some momentum for starting a chapter for the Friends of Brandeis in the greater Delhi area. A project to pursue!