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February 24, 2007
Contact: Deborah Baum
(401) 863-2476

Meeting of the Brown Corporation
Faunce House To Be Renovated as Stephen Robert Campus Center

Gifts totaling $15 million will allow the University to renovate Faunce House and create the new Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, in honor of outgoing Chancellor Stephen Robert.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Corporation of Brown University today formally accepted four gifts totaling $15 million that will allow the University to expand Faunce House and renovate the 1904 building as a campus center in honor of outgoing Chancellor Stephen Robert.

Robert, a 1962 Brown graduate and University Chancellor since 1998, provided the lead gift for the center, which will be named the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. Three anonymous donors provided additional gifts in support of the center’s creation.

“Brown is proud to honor the achievements and extraordinary leadership of Stephen Robert. During his nine-year tenure as chancellor, he supported a bold vision for Brown and led the University to unprecedented innovation and growth,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “It is especially fitting that the Center, which will be so central to our campus activities and students’ experiences, will bear this Chancellor’s name.”

The renovations will be focused on maximizing space available to students. Although the center is still in planning stages, the project will likely call for a reorganization of the building, which may include opening the first two floors as space for students to gather, study, eat, and socialize, while reserving the second and third floors for quieter offices and meeting spaces. Consideration is being given to having the ground floor include a food court hub, performance space, game room, and a renovated courtyard. The second floor might house the Student Activities Office, student government offices, and other meeting rooms. The design and planning process will involve frequent opportunities for student involvement and input.

A number of other student resource and service offices may relocate to the J. Walter Wilson building, once the renovation is complete, allowing students convenient access to a core of services in the heart of the campus.

“Under the leadership of President Simmons, Brown has made unprecedented progress. I cherish my experience in higher education and as Chancellor of Brown. The Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center will foster greater interaction among Brown’s extraordinary students, and exceptional faculty and staff,” Chancellor Robert said. “This will help achieve our plan for academic enrichment by building a shared sense of community. I am particularly happy that the Campus Center will invigorate student life. I respect Brown students for their intellect and I love them for their humanity. To have my name on this historic building is an indescribable honor.”

The Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center will be in keeping with the original intent of the building. When the west end of the present Faunce House building was erected in 1904, it was named after John D. Rockefeller, whose vision for the building was that it be devoted to the use and benefit of students.

“For more than a century, Faunce House has always served as a social nexus at Brown,” said Russell Carey, interim vice president for campus life and student services. “This gift from Stephen Robert and others will further that and create an even better space for students to come together as a community.”

The gift also supports a key initiative of the Plan for Academic Enrichment. One of the Plan’s goals is to “develop the appropriate facility or facilities needed at Brown to foster a greater sense of community among students, faculty, and staff and to meet a variety of specific needs for shared space.”

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