"Truth, even unto its innermost parts."

The motto of Brandeis University, written in Hebrew as well as English on the school seal, aptly represents the research goals of this notable young college as well as its traditional Jewish cultural background. Brandeis is, in fact, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the United States, and about 50% of its students are Jewish. However, the student body is rather diverse, representing 46 states and 101 countries (figures from the 2001-2002 school year).

Brandeis is also one of the finest research universities in America. Having joined Association of American Universities (a group that represents 59 of the United States and Canada's top research universities) in 1985, Brandeis has since been compared to Johns Hopkins when it comes to the quality of research performed by professors, researchers, graduate students, and even undergraduates. Some notable institutions on campus include the Volen Center for Complex Studies (focusing on neuroscience, computer science and AI, and related subjects), the Heller School for Social Policy and Management (ranked among the nation's top ten schools for social policy by U.S. News & World Report), The Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women (the only academic research center of its kind in the world), the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory (home to one of two existing rotating rooms used to study the effects of space travel for NASA), and many others.

Brandeis was founded in 1948, named after Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. The university is now home away from home to approximately 3,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the 34 fields of concentration and 19 interdisciplinary programs as well as, perhaps, one of the 22 minors offered by the university. Some of the most popular fields of study are biology and economics, though the school is extremely strong in all the natural sciences, as well as the humanities (especially the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program... not too surprising, eh?).

Brandeis students tend toward liberal political activism, with groups like the Prison Reform Action Committee, Students for Environmental Action, and Brandeis Students Against the Death Penalty flourishing alongside the typical a cappella groups and sports clubs. Brandeis sports teams compete as the Brandeis Judges, by the way, dressed in the school colors of navy and white and led by the mascot, an owl creatively named "Ollie." There are also plenty of service clubs (a notable one being the Waltham Group) and student publications (the largest being The Justice, a campus newspaper) for those who like to get involved with their community.

The 235 acre campus is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, a suburb of the greater Boston metropolitan area that sits about a 25 minute commuter rail ride from destinations in Boston or Cambridge. The university also provides a free shuttle service to Harvard Square and Beacon St. / Mass. Ave. on weekends for all students. Student hangouts on campus include the Usdan Student Center, the brand new Shapiro Campus Center, and student-run coffeehouse Cholmondeley's (rumored to be the basis of Central Perk in the sitcom "Friends" -- creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane both went to Brandeis).

Famous Brandeis alumni include activist Abbie Hoffman, 2003 Nobel laureate in Chemistry Roderick MacKinnon, Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, actress Debra Messing, as well as countless doctors, lawyers, professionals, and even university presidents (like Eugene Tobin, president of Hamilton College, who studied History of American Civilization at Brandeis for both his M.A. and his Ph.D.).

Information gathered from http://www.brandeis.edu/ and special guest informant Inkoate.

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