Dear Members of the Brown Community,
I am excited to share that we have set a new target of $4 billion and established a new end date of Dec. 31, 2024, for the BrownTogether campaign, building on the extraordinary support of alumni, parents and friends that carried us past our initial goal of $3 billion more than a year ahead of schedule.
The remarkable generosity of our community has strengthened financial support for students, enabled innovative education and research across campus, and amplified the positive impact our scholars make in the world. Building on that incredible momentum, we’ve now set our sights even higher. We have ambitious plans to advance our research and scholarship in new ways, improve the student experience and strengthen our approach to preparing students for lives and careers that serve the world.
Since eclipsing the original BrownTogether goal in fall 2021, Brown has raised $212.5 million in the extension phase. Among key priorities during the extended campaign, the University will focus on raising funds for research and teaching in medicine, public health, engineering and the arts, as well as student financial aid, Brown Athletics and transforming its career services program.
Brown also will continue to seek support for original campaign priorities that have seen momentum toward funding goals, but where there is a need for additional fundraising — areas including but not limited to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Pembroke Center, as well as the Brown Annual Fund.
The revised fundraising target and timeline and extended priorities were established in collaboration with senior leadership and in consultation with the Corporation of Brown University. The campaign will continue under the leadership of Chancellor Samuel M. Mencoff and campaign co-chairs Joan Wernig Sorensen, Theresia Gouw and Ralph Rosenberg. The extension builds on the priorities outlined when the University launched BrownTogether in 2015, aligned with the vision of the Building on Distinction strategic plan approved by the Corporation in 2013 and launched in 2014.
INVESTING IN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
To advance Brown’s excellence in education and research, the University will continue to prioritize funds for recruiting and retaining world-class scholars. To date, the generosity of donors has enabled the establishment of 114 endowed professorships in a wide range of disciplines. The campaign has allowed us to recruit and retain faculty who are leaders in their fields and we understand the importance of increasing our faculty ranks in key areas where their scholarship, research and discovery can have a significant impact well beyond the Brown campus.
During the extension, we will prioritize areas including research and teaching in medicine, public health and brain science — all of which are areas where Brown continues to make a significant impact, from pandemic preparedness initiatives to creating more equity in health care delivery to developing new insights into diseases.
Brown has an incredible opportunity to build on its growing reputation as a leader in cancer research, translational science and Alzheimer’s research. In recent years, with the remarkable generosity of our community, we established the Legorreta Cancer Center — which is propelling plans for a nationally designated cancer center at Brown that can turn basic science into treatments for patients — and the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, which integrates the expertise of scientists and physicians at the Carney Institute for Brain Science and the Division of Biology and Medicine, home to the Warren Alpert Medical School. The campaign extension offers opportunities to help further advance research and discovery in these and other areas of medicine and biomedical research, along with generating increased scholarships for medical students.
At the School of Public Health, BrownTogether support has accelerated the school’s growth, with the addition of renowned scholars in areas like biostatistics, health policy and epidemiology, and new academic centers and educational programs. The campaign extension provides greater opportunities for the school to address pressing societal issues that include the opioid crisis, as well as growth in collaborative areas, such as the intersection of climate change and public health and equity in health care.
Building on the strength of Brown’s academic programs in the arts has been a priority since the campaign launch, with funding supporting the growth of the Brown Arts Institute, its initiatives and facilities. In addition to final fundraising for a new Performing Arts Center, which will open in 2023 and be an incubator for boundary-pushing creative work, the BAI in the coming years plans to expand its impact by forming new collaborations with other academic units and organizations across campus and the external community; developing new courses; and establishing the Brown Artistic Innovators program, which will bring artists to campus as long-term partners with students and faculty. These activities are expected to attract more students to the creative arts at Brown, no matter what other disciplines they choose as their concentrations.
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS, FROM SCHOLARSHIPS TO CAREER PREPARATION
Among the most important campaign priorities from the BrownTogether launch has been making a Brown education accessible to the incredibly talented students, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Financial aid will remain a lead priority during the extension. Additional funds will be raised to fully endow The Brown Promise, which replaced loans with scholarships in all of the University's undergraduate financial aid packages, and to complete the Veterans Financial Aid Initiative, which will enable Brown to meet 100% of the total cost of attendance for qualified military veterans and expand the number of student-veterans at Brown. Both of these initiatives have benefited from strong donor interest and support.
A specific focus during the extension will be scholarship support for international students at Brown. Becoming need blind for international students will allow more students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds from across the globe to consider Brown as a home to pursue their college education. With campaign success in this area, Brown could be the sixth university in the United States to admit international undergraduates without considering financial need, beginning with those applying to the Class of 2029.
While we have seen the University’s overall financial aid budget grow significantly in the past decade, financial aid support for international students has not kept that same pace. We want to be able to admit exceptional international students to Brown, regardless of their financial resources. A diverse student population brings distinct experiences and perspectives to our overall student community that helps students prepare for lives and careers with meaning and purpose in our global society.
In a separate initiative, the University aims to strengthen the student experience by moving toward a holistic approach to career exploration and raising funds to establish best-in-class career preparation programming at Brown. This vision includes reorienting Brown’s career services to encourage students to engage in internships and immersive learning experiences to explore which career paths are a good fit.
This effort will also require activating a larger portion of the alumni and parent community to serve as mentors to students; better integrating faculty into the work of diversifying career pathways for students; strengthening relationships with external employers and recruiters; and forming a stronger link between student employment opportunities and career exploration. All of this will build on the success of the Center for Careers and Life after Brown (CareerLAB) and BrownConnect — an initiative that takes advantage of a digital platform to connect students with alumni for mentoring, advice and internships.
STRENGTHENING BROWN ATHLETICS AND RECREATION
BrownTogether campaign funding has helped to elevate Brown’s Division of Athletics and Recreation and enrich the scholar-athlete experience through new coaching chairs, premier facilities for training and competition, and funds for student-athlete recruitment and development. The campaign extension will further advance our vision of excellence in athletics and recreation.
Varsity sports that are nationally competitive, extensive club-team opportunities, and broad recreation opportunities can have a transformative impact through competition and a focus on wellness. These programs also strengthen our community, build pride and increase wellness.
We are incredibly grateful for the support to date that continues to move Brown toward a new level of excellence with benefits for our entire community. The extension of the BrownTogether campaign will allow us to build on this success and do even more to support Brown students and faculty who are making an impact locally, nationally and globally.
Christina H. Paxson