The class of 1986 entered Brown University under President Howard Swearer. During their senior year, Tom Brokaw, G. Gordon Liddy, Geraldine Ferraro, and Jesse Jackson, each spoke on campus. Hurricane Gloria hit Brown University in September 1985, while the NBC Today Show highlighted the campus on October 18 of the same year.
Of particular importance to the class of 1986 was the effect of Apartheid on South Africa on the Brown University Campus. In November, Brown faculty voted in favor of divestiture from South Africa. After that and in witness to the injustice of the institutionalized system of racial segregation in South Africa, six graves were dug on the green in February of 1986, in an effort to raise awareness of the struggle and death caused by Apartheid. In April of 1986, the demonstrations continued when students built two shanties on the green protesting Apartheid’s homeland policies.
Years later, members of the class of 1986 became significant fundraisers for brown University. In honor of it’s 25th reunion, the class of 1986 set an all-time, all-class giving record raising $3,597,394 for the Annual Fund.