Highlights of DRBU New Students Fall 2021 — Interview with the DRBU Admissions Office
As the pandemic continues to plague the world, DRBU remains a resilient place of inspiration for the world in these times of uncertainty. This fall, DRBU is reopening to welcome the new and returning students coming to campus, including the largest incoming MA cohort of sixteen and Translation Program cohort of nine, and two young students joining the BA. Geographically, the students come from around the world: Singapore, Malaysia, China, Canada, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and various parts of the US.
DRBU estimates having a total of 50 students this year, the largest and the most diverse student body to date. Among them, 12% are monastics, and 27% are international, with 60 years apart between the youngest and the oldest. This year, the new students’ backgrounds range from medical doctor to theater artist, from new spiritual seekers to monastics, from a Native American and Black community activist to graduates from St. John’s College, a renowned Great Books institution. Different causes and conditions brought them to DRBU.
"I had the opportunity to work closely with the incoming students during their application process and was inspired by their qualities,” said Sophie Wu, the Admissions Coordinator. “Many of them are deeply reflective, courageous, and straightforward. They have clear purposes and vision for why they want to be at DRBU for the next two or four years; they are not afraid of asking themselves those challenging questions, which will allow them to grow and transform."
Some students came because they read a sutra; some came because of their parents’ affinity with the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua; some want to go deeper with the teachings of the texts even after 50 years of practice; some came because of their love for languages in Buddhist texts translation; some came because they see the disconnection in the world and want to cultivate meaningful relationships.
Wayne Chen, the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, said, “DRBU is growing. The students this year all have overcome many obstacles in order to come. DRBU attracts many students who ask deeper human questions. It brings me tremendous joy to welcome them to campus to continue their personal and spiritual journeys at DRBU.”
In nature, diversity makes an ecosystem more resilient; in DRBU, diversity further strengthens the resilience of this expanding community. Despite the many constraints that the pandemic has put on our individual and collective lives, it can not stop the present and future DRBU students from coming together to delve deeply into the timeless ancient wisdom, pursue the highest human potential, and explore “freedom in the deepest sense.”