Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Meet Diwesh Kumar ’24 Mathematics and economics major Kumar says an art history class opened up new avenues of learning.

Diwesh-Kumar-scaled-600x400 Meet Diwesh Kumar ’24

Diwesh Kumar ’24
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Majors: Mathematics and economics

Why did you choose to come to W&L?
I guess it was just meant to be … I did a foreign exchange program in high school, and my program very randomly placed me with a family in Rockbridge County. I went to RCHS for a year and absolutely fell in love with Lexington; it was just so different and beautiful compared to the concrete jungle I grew up in. And so, when it was time to decide on colleges, the fact that I could get a holistic education in a very community-driven town that I was very familiar with, and the fact that I have a family just six miles down the road, made that decision very easy.

Where is your “home” on campus?
Oh, there are so many people and places on campus who have thoroughly shaped my experiences in the last four years. I truly cannot imagine my life today without all the amazing people I’ve met through the Executive Committee or Williams Investment Society or my fraternity or the many different smaller things that routinely took up my time. W&L kept me busy in the best way possible, and I ended up meeting the most amazing of friends. And I also want to shout out the monitors on the Leyburn Library main floor without whom I probably would have one less personality trait.

Have you found a mentor on campus? Who is it, and how have they helped you develop as a student?
There are so many professors in the math and economics department who’ve played such an important role in my education and my time here at W&L, but if I only had to pick one, it would be Professor Afshad Irani. I’ve never really taken a class with him, but he’s been a constant source of support since my freshman year. In fact, I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve gone to him to ask for advice and just catch up on life; he’s truly shaped my experience here, and one of my many favorite things senior year have been the Friday lunches that I have with him every week. He’s phenomenal in every sense of the word, and this will be a relationship that I will carry with me irrespective of where I am in the years to come.

What was your favorite class and why?
This is probably my recency bias talking, but it has to be my Winter Term art history class on Medieval Art in Southern Europe with Professor George Bent. I am a math and economics guy through and through, and I initially took this class only for my fine arts requirement, but seven weeks in, my biggest academic regret is not taking art history sooner. I’ve learned so much about art in these past two months than I ever have in my lifetime; it just makes so much more sense, and now my trips to art galleries are so much more enjoyable. I think this is a testament to W&L and a liberal arts education in general, but I’m leaving W&L knowing there are entire worlds out there that I need to start learning about. I guess this is what they mean by lifelong learning after all.

How have your experiences at W&L prepared you for post-graduate success?
I’ve maintained this stance since my recruitment in sophomore year: I would not be where I am today professionally had it not been for the kindness of W&L and the generosity of its alums. All the classes I took, the firsthand experience I got through the Williams Investment Society, the help I received from my professors and the Office of Career and Professional Development, and the mentorship I got from all the different alums, all played such an important role in getting me to where I am today, and I could not be more grateful to W&L for that. Truly it has been life-changing, and it’s all because of this community.