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Distributed September 15, 2004
Contact Mark Nickel

Ruth J. Simmons
Mr. Frank has made a lasting and magnanimous contribution

On Wednesday morning, Sept. 15, 2004. Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons sent an e-mail message to the entire Brown community announcing that Sidney E. Frank, a member of the Brown Class of 1942, had made a $100-million gift for undergraduate financial aid. The text of President Simmons’ message follows here. (See also news release 04-023.)

September 15, 2004

Dear members of the Brown Community,

I write you with extraordinary news. Sidney E. Frank ’42 has made a gift to the University in the amount of $100 million, the single largest gift in Brown’s history. This gift establishes the Sidney E. Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarships for Brown undergraduate students whose family income is in the range of $30,000 or less per year. This endowed fund will transform the lives of many generations of Brown students, allowing them to pursue their academic interests freely, regardless of their financial circumstances. Mr. Frank’s gift of $100 million comes on the heels of another gift that he recently made to Brown. In June, Mr. Frank donated $20 million to the University to provide for the construction on campus of a new academic building, to be called the Sidney E. Frank Hall.

Needless to say, Mr. Frank’s generosity presents an enormous opportunity for Brown. The Plan for Academic Enrichment set undergraduate financial aid among its highest priorities. The establishment of need-blind admission and the elimination of work-study for first-year students were important first steps in significantly improving access to a Brown education for more students and their families. The Sidney E. Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund will now enhance our financial aid program at a greater pace than we originally envisioned.

Mr. Frank wanted especially to encourage the matriculation of the neediest students. He chose to fund scholarships that would eliminate the necessity for those students and their families to borrow funds to finance a Brown education. Beginning with incoming first-year students in the class of 2009, the Sidney E. Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund will enable the University to meet students’ demonstrated need by eliminating the loan portion of these students’ financial aid and replacing it with scholarship funds. The Fund will provide more than $35,000 in scholarship support for most of these students. While these students will still require a family contribution and work study expectation, they will have no loans and the remainder of the cost of their tuition, room and board and fees will be met by a combination of eligible federal grants and the Frank Scholarship. We expect that, within about four years, a total of approximately 128 students across all four undergraduate classes will be named Sidney E. Frank Scholars.

In making this gift, Mr. Frank said: “I know from my own experience what a difference Brown can make in a young person’s life. I’ve wanted to help more students find what I found – especially students who figured Brown was out of reach financially. Creating this scholarship fund seemed the best way to do that. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.” In so doing, Mr. Frank has made a lasting and magnanimous contribution to Brown University.


Ruth J. Simmons


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