Date July 17, 2018
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Giving to Brown tops $389 million for 2017-18, far surpassing previous record

From one of the largest gifts in Brown history to Annual Fund donations from more than 32,000 donors, members of the extended Brown community supported University priorities in teaching, research, student support and more.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Shattering its previous fundraising record by $88 million, Brown University raised $389.1 million in support of student financial aid, innovative teaching, high-impact research, faculty funding and other academic priorities during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

Brown’s donors contributed $45.8 million to the Annual Fund, far surpassing the prior high mark set last year of $37.9 million, with significant support coming from alumni who celebrated class reunions during the year.

This year’s giving builds on the momentum of BrownTogether, the University’s most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign in history. In January, BrownTogether surpassed its midpoint and an end date of 2022 was established; as of June 30, $1.78 billion had been raised toward the campaign’s $3-billion goal.

Sergio Gonzalez, Brown’s senior vice president for university advancement, attributed the year’s fundraising success to the deep engagement and enduring generosity of the Brown community.

"This has been a phenomenal year for Brown and for the BrownTogether campaign,” Gonzalez said. “Our alumni, parents and friends have continued to demonstrate their steadfast commitment to the University and its future. Our success also signals that the campaign is gaining solid momentum as we move toward another milestone in 2019 — reaching the $2 billion mark.”

From advancing research and supporting educational initiatives to increasing financial aid and amplifying efforts to make Brown more fully diverse and inclusive, the campaign has influenced nearly every strategic University endeavor. Funds continue to enable Brown to realize the goals of Building on Distinction, the strategic plan developed under the leadership of President Christina Paxson, which will guide the University’s growth and development well into the next decade.

A number of major gifts supporting University priorities contributed to fiscal year 2018 totals. Two in particular came in support of Brown’s dedication to high-impact research:

A $100 million gift (one of the largest in Brown’s history) from Class of 1961 alumnus Robert J. Carney and Nancy D. Carney renamed the University’s brain science institute and is driving an ambitious agenda to find cures to devastating diseases, including ALS and Alzheimer’s. And a $50 million gift from Brown Chancellor Samuel M. Mencoff, Class of 1978, and Ann S. Mencoff to the Warren Alpert Medical School is establishing medical research funds and supporting top scholars with the goal of translating research into cures for disease.

Other major gifts during this fiscal year supported endowed professorships, raising the number of new professorships to 62, halfway to the BrownTogether campaign goal of 123. Fundraising also focused on campaign priorities including financial aid, facilities improvements, student research and internship opportunities, and athletics — where the establishment of an Excellence in Athletics Fund will support student-athletes across Brown's 38 varsity teams.

Fiscal year 2018 also saw donors emerge to support fundraising for The Brown Promise, which will eliminate loans from all undergraduate financial aid packages awarded by Brown starting in fall 2018. Since launching the effort to raise funds for the initiative in September 2017, the University has raised $44.8 million toward its $120 million goal.

The Brown Promise is the most recent in a number of initiatives that aim to bring more students from low- and moderate-income families to Brown. The impact of these efforts can be seen in this year’s admissions cycle, said Logan Powell, dean of admission. Applications from students seeking financial aid increased eight percentage points over the previous year.

The Brown Promise has sparked even more interest from extremely talented and diverse candidates from low- and moderate-income backgrounds,” Powell said. “We can see our efforts reflected in the composition of the incoming Class of 2022. The generosity of Brown’s donors has been instrumental in bringing the best and brightest to College Hill, and their sustained support will be critical in enabling us to continue providing access and affordability for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Gonzalez said that the record-breaking year would not have been possible without the support of the 32,301 members of the extended Brown community who contributed to the Annual Fund in amounts ranging from $1 to $1.25 million.

The record $45.8 million in Annual Fund donations was supported largely by alumni donors, with 5,370 graduates from classes celebrating reunions donating $13.4 million, a 23 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

Eight reunion classes broke Annual Fund records. The Class of 1978 broke three 40th Reunion records: number of $10,000+ donors (33), participation (43 percent) and total dollars raised ($1.95 million). The Class of 1983 broke two 35th Reunion records: participation and dollars raised for the Annual Fund, with 43 percent of the class donating a total of $2.5 million. And the Class of 1958 achieved the highest participation rate of all the reunion classes at 59 percent and raised a record $477,154.

“This record-setting year for the Brown Annual Fund is particularly important, because it enables the University to provide immediate financial aid and transformative student experiences as well as to respond to pressing needs as they arise,” said Class of 1984 graduate Paula McNamara, who serves as a co-chair of the Annual Fund. “I am deeply grateful to the thousands of my fellow alumni, as well as all the friends of Brown, who helped us continue on a path of excellence.”