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Distributed September 6, 2005
Contact Mark Nickel

Sidney Frank Provides $5M To Support Brown’s Hurricane Relief Effort

Sidney E. Frank, a 1942 alumnus of Brown University, is providing $5 million in support of the University’s efforts to provide relief for students and faculty at colleges and universities that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — At the University’s 242nd Opening Convocation today, Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons announced that Sidney E. Frank, chairman and CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc., is donating $5 million to Brown for the University’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Frank’s gift will support the University’s efforts to assist students and faculty whose work has been interrupted by the hurricane.

“This humanitarian gift is one more indication of the extraordinary support that Mr. Frank has shown for Brown and for humanity,” Simmons said. “We are proud to be chosen by him and his family to direct these funds in support of the relief effort.”

Simmons said the University will now be able to do far more than it had originally planned, such as providing assistance with housing, meals and books for students with demonstrated financial need, and supporting a variety of other activities to enhance Brown’s assistance program. She said she will appoint an oversight committee to determine how Frank’s gift can best be used.

Simmons described Brown’s emerging assistance program, including expedited admission for approximately 100 undergraduates, last week in an e-mail to the campus community:

  • As a member of the Rhode Island Independent Higher Education Association, Brown will offer tuition-free admission for one semester to any Rhode Island students enrolled at schools closed by the hurricane;
  • Brown will offer tuition-free admission for one semester to siblings of current Brown students who attend schools disrupted by the hurricane;
  • Students enrolled at Leadership Alliance schools closed by the hurricane, including Dillard University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Tulane University, may apply to Brown for tuition-free admission on a space-available basis for the fall semester;
  • Graduate students from affected institutions may be admitted tuition-free for one semester as exchange scholars on special student status. Places will be assigned on a space-available basis, which varies from department to department;
  • Brown faculty members have been asked to reach out to collaborators and colleagues at affected institutions and invite them to send their post-doctoral fellows to Brown and to come to the University as visiting faculty, if space and other necessary facilities can be provided to support their research.

“The people of the Gulf Coast and our country as a whole have suffered a terrible tragedy,” Frank said. “This gift to Brown University is meant to return some normalcy to students whose studies and ambitions have been cut short. The sooner the victims of Hurricane Katrina can return to their lives and pursuits, the sooner we can all heal. I’m fortunate that I am in a position to help, and I encourage all those who are able to give to do so.”

Last year, Frank, who is a member of the Brown Class of 1942, donated more than $120 million to Brown to fund scholarships for Brown’s neediest students and to construct a new academic building on the campus, making him the largest donor in the University’s history.

More information about Brown’s hurricane assistance program is available on the University’s Hurricane Katrina Web site


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