Dear Brown Community, I am thrilled to share that Brown has reached a pivotal milestone in the BrownTogether campaign. With $1.64 billion raised as of the end of 2017, Brown begins the new year having surpassed the midpoint of the campaign’s $3 billion goal!

The campaign has had a major impact on practically every corner of campus. With the support of our donors and friends, we are strengthening access and affordability for new generations of Brown students, catalyzing revolutionary new approaches to research and scholarship, and expanding Brown’s impact across the globe. The investments that our generous community members continue to make in the future of Brown have been nothing short of transformational.

We aim to build on this momentum and drive toward achieving the $3-billion campaign goal by the year 2022, the end date we now have set for the comprehensive campaign. 

This is a moment to thank and celebrate the more than 50,000 individual donors who have contributed to BrownTogether to date. The campaign launched publicly in October 2015 after a two-year quiet phase, and of the total dollars raised:

**$400 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $1.1 billion Investing in People goal. This includes support for endowed chairs to advance faculty teaching and research; graduate and medical student fellowships; and diversity and inclusion initiatives. This also includes the $30 million raised for The Brown Promise initiative to enable the University to remove loans from Brown’s undergraduate financial aid awards for all students.

**$609 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $900 million Education and Research goal. This includes faculty and student research opportunities; summer internships around the globe and engaged learning opportunities in local communities; and continued growth of entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

**$323 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $600 million Campus and Community goal. This includes support for new and renovated buildings; instructional and research technology; improved libraries, laboratories and research infrastructure; and student support and other campus life priorities.

**$193 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $400 million Brown Annual Fund goal. These unrestricted funds ensure that Brown provides strong support for financial aid, teaching and scholarship, and has the ability to jumpstart initiatives in emerging areas of education and discovery.

An additional $116 million in recent gifts from our generous donors will be designated for use in the weeks and months ahead.


I hope you’ll read the University’s news announcement ( about the significant impact of giving to the campaign. I cannot begin to list the vast number of ways our students, faculty and staff are benefiting already from BrownTogether, but I do want to touch on a few highlights.

I have written to the community recently about The Brown Promise. Through this initiative and others, we are focused on building investment in financial aid and attracting the brightest students in the world. The effort to eliminate loans from University-packaged undergraduate financial aid awards has a $120 million fundraising goal that is part of BrownTogether’s overall $500 million goal for undergraduate financial aid. As I announced in December, the $30 million we have raised for The Brown Promise makes it possible for us to begin implementing this important financial aid initiative for all current and incoming students in the 2018-19 academic year.

New facilities and centers are creating spaces to support Brown’s growing influence in multiple academic areas. The new, state-of-the-art Engineering Research Center has opened on Brook Street; the Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship is making entrepreneurism an essential part of the Brown experience; the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs has started construction on a new building to support its increased activity as a hub of first-class research and education; and the ongoing renovation of Wilson Hall (to be renamed Friedman Hall upon completion) will transform it into a modern facility for teaching and learning in the heart of College Hill.

And this campaign is even more about investing in talent than it is constructing facilities. To date, Brown has raised funds for 51 endowed faculty chairs, bringing new scholars to campus in the arts and humanities and the social, physical and life sciences. Twenty-three of those positions are already filled with educator-scholars who are achieving breakthrough discoveries, influencing policy and cultivating understanding of peoples and cultures, all while teaching the next generation of leaders.

Other gifts are supporting innovative education and research. Major funding from the Warren Alpert Foundation is not only catalyzing biomedical discoveries, but also ensuring that those advances produce tangible health benefits through new modes of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The new Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute was established to accelerate progress on the urgent health needs of children. And funding for research at the Brown Institute for Brain Science is inspiring new developments in neuroscience.

Gifts to the life sciences, biomed and public health make up just a handful of hundreds of major gifts in a wide range of academic fields making an impact on academic excellence at Brown. With campaign support, a new program in collaborative humanities is devising novel ways to promote critical thinking and public discourse on pressing questions about the human experience. The Brown Arts Initiative is building on the University’s aspiration to be the primary destination for students who want to fully integrate the arts into a complete liberal arts education. And the recently launched Data Science Initiative is unearthing new methods for using “big data” to solve big problems.

For Brown’s Division I athletics, the fourth largest collegiate program in the nation, projects are transforming facilities. These include the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center, baseball and softball fields, and the Marston Boathouse. Gifts also are supporting the student-athlete experience in specific programs through endowed coaching chairs.

Donations to the Brown Annual Fund are critical to the campaign. These current-use gifts support ongoing priorities of the University — like financial aid — and provide the flexibility to fund strategic initiatives in new areas. Tens of thousands of donors who contributed annual gifts from $1 to $1 million have raised $193 million for BAF. With these gifts, the University is channeling support to expanded financial aid, summer internships, undergraduate research and teaching awards, career preparation, summer earnings waivers and more.


There is more still to come. As we look ahead to the campaign’s second half, the success of BrownTogether will not be defined solely by the investments the campaign brings to our campus. We will fulfill the promise of this campaign when our community succeeds in turning these investments into new knowledge and new discoveries that benefit society and communities well beyond Brown.

I talk about BrownTogether as being the most ambitious campaign in Brown’s history, not merely because of its dollar goal, but because of its tremendous capacity to add strength to virtually everything we do. This will benefit generations to come.

I hope you share my excitement about reaching this important milestone in the campaign, and for the important work still to come.



Christina Paxson