Dear Members of the Brown Community,

This past weekend, amidst the launch of the University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign BrownTogether — which included the celebration of the $17.5-million NSF grant renewal for Brown's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics and the groundbreaking of the new School of Engineering building — the October meetings of the Corporation of Brown University also took place. I am pleased to write with news from those meetings, including the acceptance of many generous gifts in support of students, faculty and staff and the Building on Distinction strategic plan. Information about some of these gifts will be announced in greater detail very soon. Among them will be an announcement of a $50 million gift from a consortium of three donors in support of the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International and Public Affairs. Early giving to Watson (during the quiet phase of the campaign) has reached $80 million.

Over the course of their meetings, Corporation members had many opportunities to discuss issues and priorities with members of the Brown community. Corporation members attended a regular meeting of the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS); participated in two student discussions convened by UCS regarding campus development and faculty diversity and student success; and met with students from the Alpert Medical School. In addition, members of the Board of Fellows also met with the officers of the Faculty Executive Committee. These interactions, along with committee discussions that ranged across a broad spectrum of topics, were greatly appreciated by members of the Corporation. Topics of discussion included progress under the strategic plan, planning for a pilot Winter Session, implementation of the recommendations of the Sexual Assault Task Force, and plans and initiatives for further engaging alumni in the work and life of the University, among many others.

Also this weekend, 11 new Trustees were welcomed to the Corporation. The new Trustees are: John C. Atwater ’83, P’16, Brian A. Benjamin ’98, Sangeeta N. Bhatia ’90, Brickson E. Diamond ’93, Jeffrey F. Hines ’83 MD’86, Jennifer B. Moses ’83 P’18, Barry Rosenstein P’10 MFA’13, P’15, Pablo J. Salame ’88, Preston C. Tisdale ’73, P’10, P’10 MPH’ MD’16, P’12, and Catherine Willis Maas ’85, P’13, P’17. Kayla S. Rosen ’14 will serve a three-year term as a Young Alumni Trustee. Kayla Rosen was elected to this position by the Corporation following a campus process last spring involving undergraduate, graduate and medical student representatives who did excellent work broadening and deepening the pool of young alumni for this position and other forms of University service. Photographs and biographical information for these individuals and other members of the Corporation can be found here.

Acceptance of Gifts, Establishment of Endowed Positions, and other actions

The launch of BrownTogether, the comprehensive $3 billion campaign in support of Building on Distinction, was a historic moment for the University. Already $950 million has been raised toward the campaign’s aspirational goal. These are funds that directly and positively impact Brown students, faculty and staff. Gifts from thousands of donors at all levels demonstrate the commitment and engagement of Brown alumni, parents, and friends to support learning, teaching, research and campus life at the highest levels of excellence. Those donors, and the many more who will make this campaign an incredible success, demonstrate that the Brown community is leading the way, together, toward realizing the University’s strategic vision of advancing knowledge to help the community, nation and the world. The hard work, engaged enthusiasm and high standards of Brown faculty, students and staff inspire that extraordinary support.

The Corporation formally accepts gifts and pledges in the amount of $1 million or more, and those that have been made since the May meeting are listed here. It should be noted, however, that the success of BrownTogether to date and in the future comprises gifts of many dollar amounts, and all are essential to our success and deeply appreciated. The gifts and pledges accepted with gratitude this weekend include:

  • From The Hassenfeld Foundation, a gift of $12,500,000 to establish the Alan G. Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, which will integrate research, clinical practice, public health efforts, and educational programs to improve the health and well-being of children, both in Rhode Island and around the globe;
  • From an anonymous donor, a bequest intention that exceeds $10,000,000 to provide ongoing support for the University;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $10,000,000 to support molecular neuroscience within the Brown Institute for Brain Science;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $6,000,000 to support priorities within the Building on Distinction strategic plan;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $5,000,000 to support the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society through the establishment of a University Professorship in Environmental Science;
  • From Gerald I. White ’66, a bequest intention of $5,000,000 to support financial aid;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $5,000,000 pending donor designation;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $3,500,000, including $3,000,000 to support research and post-doctoral fellows at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and $500,000 to support the Brown Annual Fund;
  • From Pablo J. Salame ’88 and Nathalie Salame, a gift of $3,000,000, of which $2,000,000 will be designated to the Pablo J. Salame '88 Goldman Sachs Professorship in Computational Neuroscience and $1,000,000 will be designated to the Salame Family Endowed Scholarship;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $2,500,000, of which $2,000,000 will endow an assistant professorship in the School of Public Health, $250,000 will support the Brown Annual Fund, $200,000 will support the School of Public Health Annual Fund, and $50,000 will support the Men’s Club Rugby Annual Fund;
  • From Mark Attanasio ’79, P’11 and Debbie Attanasio P’11, a gift of $2,250,000 to support the Baseball stadium and field project;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $2,250,000 in support of Brown Athletics;
  • From Daniel R. Tisch ’73 and Bonnie Jeck Tisch, a gift of $2,000,000, of which $1,900,000 is designated to support the President’s Discretionary Fund and $100,000 to support the Brown Annual Fund;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $2,000,000 to support priorities within the Building on Distinction strategic plan;
  • From anonymous donors, a bequest of $2,000,000 to support athletics at Brown;
  • From the Thomas J. and Olive C. Watson Foundation, a gift of $1,557,688 to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs quasi-endowment;
  • From an anonymous donor, a gift of $1,500,000 to support undergraduate financial aid;
  • From the parents of a member of the class of 2018, an anonymous gift of $1,000,000 to support undergraduate financial aid for middle income students;
  • From the late Beatrice C. Minkins ’36, a realized bequest of $1,400,000 to support the President’s Discretionary Fund;
  • From a member of the Class of ’82 and her husband, a gift of $1,000,000 to support the Engaged Scholars Program;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $1,000,000 pending donor designation;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $1,000,000 to support priorities within the Building on Distinction strategic plan;
  • From an anonymous donor, a gift of $1,000,000 to support the Political Theory Project Faculty Enhancement Initiative;
  • From John H. Panton, M.D. P’79 MD’82, P’83 MMS’86 MD’86, GP’11 MD’15; Peter J. Panton, M.D. ’79, MD’82, PMD’15; Robert W. Panton, M.D. ’83, MMS’86, MD’86; and family, a gift of $1,000,000 to establish the John and Mary Panton Professorship at the Alpert Medical School;
  • From Daniel A. Neff, Esq. ’74, P’06, P’14 and Nancy Fuld Neff ’76, P’06, P’14, a gift of $1,000,000, of which $500,000 is in support of the Brown Annual Fund and $500,000 will be used toward a facilities project at the University;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $1,000,000 pending donor designation;
  • From an anonymous donor, a gift of $1,000,000 to support the Political Theory Project Faculty Enhancement Initiative;
  • From the Ford Foundation, a grant of $1,000,000 in support of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

The Corporation also approved the establishment of a number of endowed positions in recognition of gifts having been received. These include the following:

  • The Sorensen Family Deanship in Engineering with the generous support of Trustee Joan Wernig Sorensen ’72, P’06, P’06 and E. Paul Sorensen ’71, SCM’75, PHD’77, P’06, P’06;
  • The 250th Anniversary Professorship in Engineering, Science, or Mathematics with the generous support of anonymous donors;
  • The 250th Anniversary Professorships of Practice in the Performing Arts with the generous support of anonymous donors;
  • The Watson Institute Professorship in Public Policy with the generous support of anonymous donors;
  • The Linton A. “Jay” Fluck '65 Head Coaching Chair for Men’s Rugby with the generous support of anonymous donors.

Finally, in recognition of gifts having been received in support of strategic capital priorities, the Budget & Finance Committee approved design and construction of a $2 million graduate student study center in the Rockefeller Library and construction of a $5 million renovation and upgrade of the baseball and softball fields.

Conclusion

The Corporation meetings held this weekend were deeply substantive, informed by community discussion and campus engagement, and focused on the aspirations defined by faculty, students and staff in Building on Distinction. Our enthusiasm for the launch of BrownTogether, and our gratitude for the inspirational philanthropy to date, are exceeded only by our high expectations for what is yet to come.

Sincerely,

Christina Paxson