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May 25, 2007
Contact: Molly de Ramel
Cell: (401) 965-1593

Meeting of the Brown Corporation
Celebrating Success: Fundraising, Facilities, Faculty

The Corporation of Brown University celebrates a milestone for Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment; elects new trustees; votes to initiate planning and design for a new swimming and diving facility; establishes new research centers in science and international economics; establishes new professorships; improves the faculty sabbatical policy; and accepts more than $18 million in gifts, among other actions.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — At its regular spring business meeting on Friday, May 25, 2007, the Corporation of Brown University voted to initiate planning and design for a new swim center and construct a temporary training facility for Brown’s aquatic programs; established new multidisciplinary centers for scientific research and international economics; and created new professorships and accepted gifts totaling more than $18 million, among other business. The Corporation also elected 10 new trustees and learned that the University has exceeded the milestone of $1 billion in Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment.

The progress all comes at a time when Brown’s Plan for Academic Enrichment continues to achieve many of its original goals, reflecting the University’s commitment to take the steps and devote the resources and leadership necessary to ensure Brown’s standing as a leading research university.

New Trustees

Ten new members will join the Corporation’s Board of Trustees, all of whom will be formally engaged at the next regular meeting of the Corporation in October 2007. The newly elected term trustees are Martin J. Granoff, Jonathan M. Nelson ’77, Ralph F. Rosenberg ’86, Anita V. Spivey ’74, and Jerome C. Vascellaro ’74. The newly elected alumni trustees are Spencer R. Crew ’71 (the incoming president of the Brown Alumni Association), Charles M. Davis ’82, Annette LaPorte Nazareth ’78, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta ’90, and William P. Wood ’78. Brief biographies of the new trustees are available online and from the Office of Media Relations.

The Board of Fellows also elected Stephen Robert as a fellow, effective July 1, 2007. Robert concludes a nine-year tenure as University chancellor on June 30. 2007.

Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment

The Corporation celebrated a major milestone in Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment, which has a goal of raising $1.4 billion by Dec. 31, 2010. As of today (Friday, May 25, 2007), the Campaign has exceeded the $1-billion mark at $1,003,613,083. The gifts and pledges have helped achieve the goals of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, including expansion of the faculty, new research facilities, increased financial aid to undergraduates and larger stipends for graduate students, enhancements to campus living and learning spaces, development of new academic programs and initiatives and renovation of facilities.

New Swim Center

The Corporation voted to proceed with planning and design for the construction of an estimated $35-million new swimming and diving facility. The building will be constructed within the Wendell R. Erickson ’19 Athletic Complex on the site of the current Smith Swim Center, which the University closed earlier this year due to structural problems that could not be repaired in a cost-effective way.

The new center will be designed and constructed in conjunction with the ongoing Nelson Fitness Center project. Additionally, the Corporation approved the construction of a temporary training facility for Brown’s aquatic programs while the new swim center is being designed and built. The University will seek city approval for the siting of this facility. The University is planning to open the permanent swim center during the summer of 2010.

New Academic Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

Building on Brown’s strength in materials science, nanotechnology and biomedical engineering, the Corporation voted to establish the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMANI). The Center will catalyze additional multidisciplinary collaborations among Brown faculty, especially encouraging research that crosses the boundaries between the physical sciences, where nanotechnology is rooted, and the biological sciences, where many of its most useful applications reside.

The Corporation also voted to establish a new Center for Nanoscience and Soft Matter (CNSSM) within IMANI. Together with the existing Center for Advanced Materials Research, the new center will provide a focus for undergraduate education, faculty and student research in the rapidly expanding field of nanoscience.

To expand the University’s teaching and research at the graduate and undergraduate levels in international trade and finance, the Corporation approved the establishment of The William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics, which will be administered in coordination with the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown. The Rhodes Center will allow Brown to promote scholarly research that advances fundamental understanding in the area of international trade, finance, and entrepreneurship, and contribute to public and scholarly discourse.

Certificate Programs

Additionally, the Corporation voted to make Brown’s educational opportunities available more broadly by developing certificate programs, composed of existing and specifically designed courses, on a pilot basis. Brown faculty will oversee the curricular content of the programs, while Summer and Continuing Studies will handle the development, promotion, enrollment and student and faculty support.

New Endowed Professorships

The Corporation established seven endowed professorships. Professorships are one of the highest priorities of the University’s $1.4-billion Campaign for Academic Enrichment. The following are effective immediately:

  • The Lucy Lippitt Professorship in Orthopaedics;
  • The Henry F. Lippitt Professorship in Orthopaedics Research;
  • The William and Mary Oh-William and Elsa Zopfi Professorship in Pediatrics for Perinatal Research;
  • The Brooke Russell Astor Professorship in the Humanities in Honor of Vartan Gregorian;
  • The Charles Edwin Wilbour Professorship in Egyptology/Archaeology;
  • The Peter Green Professorship in Modern Middle Eastern History;
  • The David I. Fisher Professorship in International Relations.

Enhanced Sabbatical Policy For Faculty

The Corporation approved an enhanced policy for sabbatical leaves, which affords faculty members opportunities for scholarly development that not only benefit their professional growth, but also enhance the teaching and service that they contribute to the University. The policy, endorsed by the Faculty Affairs Committee, allows tenured faculty members to take one semester of sabbatical leave at 75 percent salary after six semesters of teaching. Faculty may also choose to complete 12 semesters of teaching and receive one semester sabbatical at full salary or one year at 75 percent salary. The current policy provides one semester sabbatical at full salary or one year at half salary, after 12 semesters of teaching. The new policy will begin during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Acceptance of Gifts

University policy and practice requires that all major gifts, including all gifts of $1 million or more, be presented directly to the Corporation for formal acceptance. The Corporation accepted the following gifts:

  • from Trustee Emeritus Jonathan M. Nelson ’77, P’07, P’09, a gift of $5 million to be added to his previous gift of $10 million for the construction of the Nelson Fitness Center;
  • from Guy Lombardo ’62, P’97, P’99, a gift of $3 million to establish and endow a professorship in the humanities;
  • from the Foundation for Health, a grant of $1,250,000 for a research fund in the Warren Alpert Medical School;
  • from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, a grant of $1,030,890 to support the College’s advising program;
  • from David and Laura Finn P’70, P’76, P’77, a gift of $1 million to renovate a reading room in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library;
  • from John ’67 and Judy ’67 Hushon P’93, a gift of $1 million for general endowment;
  • from John M. Shapiro and Dr. Shonni J. Silverberg, P’09, a gift of $1 million for general endowment; 
  • from a Brown parent and grandparent, who wishes to remain anonymous, a gift of $5 million, $4.2 million of which is designated to support the theater arts at Brown.