99-044 (Sen. John Chafee)
Distributed October 25, 1999
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

A Statement by President E. Gordon Gee

Sen. John Chafee was an American hero and a Rhode Island legend

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University President E. Gordon Gee today praised the late Sen. John Chafee as an American hero, Rhode Island legend and member of the Brown family, whose exemplary public life featured a “consistently measured approach to finding a solid middle ground on the most contentious of issues.” The full text of Gee’s statement follows:

I was deeply saddened to learn of Senator Chafee’s untimely passing. In addition to being an American hero and a Rhode Island legend, the Senator was a member of the Brown family. Senator Chafee’s father and son were Brown alumni, and in 1964 the University had the good sense to award then Governor Chafee an honorary doctor of laws degree.

As a policy-maker, Senator Chafee’s reputation as an environmental champion is deservedly renowned – he worked tirelessly to ensure that the water we drink and the air we breathe will remain healthy for generations to come. He is celebrated for his stewardship in the area of health policy, where he has challenged his colleagues to provide all Americans with access to quality care. Those of us in education know of his equally steadfast commitment to strengthening the quality of the nation’s institutions of elementary, secondary and higher education. But perhaps his greatest contribution has been his very example; there is much to be learned from Senator Chafee’s consistently measured approach to finding a solid middle ground on the most contentious of issues.

By every measure, Senator Chafee has been a stalwart leader of the highest integrity. He committed his life to making ours better. This is his legacy. I am truly honored to have known him, and it is with deep compassion that, on behalf of the entire Brown Community, I extend heartfelt condolences to the Chafee family, and to the citizens of the state that he represented so respectfully.”