Brown University

Brown University Book Award

We are in the process of determining the book award for 2016-2017.
--The cost of the book award may change once the book is chosen.

2015-2016 Book Award

Elizabeth Mitchell '88

Wording of Bookplate:

The Brown Book Award honors the junior who best combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression:

Language is the highest expression of our humanity; it defines what we are and what we aspire to be.

Those who use words effectively will be the leaders in their next generation.  In them we invest our hope; to them we accord our respect.

With this award, we salute their potential. 

Sample Bookplate:

Size: 5"W x 7"H

The Brown University Book Award is presented to a junior at a school's annual book awards presentation.  It is awarded to a junior who exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills.  The award itself is a book written by a Brown University faculty member or alumnus.

The program was started by the Brown Alumni Association in 1960, with 100 books being awarded at that time, and has grown through the generosity of our alumni.  The goal of the Book Award program is twofold: it combines the satisfaction of rewarding individual scholarship with promotion of Brown University's name among high school and preparatory school students.

Now, the Brown Bookstore handles the administration of the Brown University Bookstore.  However, the awards themselves are usually sponsored by a Brown University alumnus, though sometimes the school itself, or one or its faculty or staff, sponsors the award.

The book presented for the Brown University Book Award is determined yearly.  A committee chooses a recently published book by a Brown University Professor or Alumnus that reflects the criteria of the award.  The book award is presented to an outstanding junior who exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills.

The book award for 2015-2016 is Liberthy's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build The Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell '88.  The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a powerful symbol of freedom and the American dream. For decades, the myth has persisted that the statue was a grand gift from France, but now Liberty's Torch reveals how she was in fact the pet project of one quixotic and visionary French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.  Bartholdi not only forged this 151-foot-tall colossus in a workshop in Paris and transported her across the ocean, but battled to raise money for the statue and make her a reality.

Recent Book Award Selections:
2015 -2016 - Liberty's Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell '88 - $36.00
2014-2015 - The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun '06 - $35.00
2013-2014 - Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick '78 - $39.00
2012-2013 - Thinking the Twentieth Century by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder '91 - $40.00
2011-2012 - Morning, Noon, and Night: Finding the Meaning of Life's Stages Through Books
                         by Professor Arnold Weinstein - $35.00
                         --Price includes shipping and handling to the sponsored school

The Brown University Book Award is distributed by the Brown Bookstore.  We welcome expansion of the program through the sponsorship of the award by individual alumni, Brown Clubs, or by the secondary school itself.  The cost of the award is determined yearly.

Sponsors & Participating Schools

Sponsors choose the school(s) they would like to sponsor.  The school then must agree to present the Brown University Book Award at the their awards ceremony.  The sponsor may choose the degree of participation, while most just sponsor the book award and let the school handle the selection and presentation of the book award, others attend or even present the book award at the awards ceremony.  A select few even help with the selection of the recipient.

New sponsors - Please check the current schools participating and their sponsors listing  for 2015-2016 to see if a school already has a sponsor.
--Please note that some schools self-sponsor (SS=Y), so would like to have a sponsor.  Schools with 2015 had a sponsor, but were not renewed this year.  Check for 'Looking for a sponsor' in the last column.
--Please contact Priscilla Sutton at 401-863-1811 or priscilla_sutton(at) to start the sponsorship process.

Fall - Sponsors are sent out order forms to renew the Brown University Book Award.
--Sponsors can pay by ordering online or sending a check made out to Brown Bookstore to:
     Attn: Brown Book Award, Brown Bookstore, 244 Thayer St., Providence, RI, 02912
Spring - Schools are notified if their sponsors have renewed/not renewed for the year. 
--Renewed Schools are sent the book award, a bookplate to write the recipient and sponsor's name on, and a letter of explanation that includes information on where to submit the recipient's name to Brown University so they can be sent a packet of information on attending Brown University about a month prior to their awards ceremonies. 

Brown University Book Award Administrator
Contact: Priscilla Sutton
Ph: 401-863-1811
Email:  priscilla_sutton(at)