Brown sets new $4 billion goal, extends BrownTogether fundraising campaign through 2024

Priorities for the campaign’s extension include raising funds for research and teaching in medicine, public health, engineering and the arts, as well as student financial aid, career services and Brown Athletics.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — After eclipsing an initial goal of $3 billion in Fall 2021 more than a year ahead of schedule, Brown University has set a revised target of $4 billion and established a new end date of Dec. 31, 2024, for BrownTogether, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. The University has raised $212.5 million above the original campaign goal during this early phase of the extension with the support of Brown alumni, parents and friends.

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 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,” said Brown President Christina H. Paxson. “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.”

The revised fundraising target and timeline and extended priorities were established by Brown’s senior leaders in consultation with the Corporation of Brown University, and 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.

“With support from BrownTogether, we have been fortunate to bring new faculty to Brown who are at the very top of their fields as well as rising stars whose innovative, collaborative approaches align with the core of Brown’s academic excellence,” said Provost Richard M. Locke. “As we move forward, it’s essential to grow our faculty ranks even further in key areas where the new knowledge they generate can have a significant impact well beyond the Brown campus.”

Among the specific areas that Brown will prioritize during the extension will be research and teaching in medicine, public health and brain science — 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.

Specifically, the University aims to build on its growing reputation as a leader in cancer research, translational science and Alzheimer’s research. With donor funding, Brown established in recent years 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. Dean Ashish K. Jha said the school will continue to address pressing societal issues such as the opioid crisis and dementia and “in a shifting world, there are new areas that we need to tackle, too.”

“This is both a public health moment and a public health movement,” Jha said. “COVID-19 exposed weaknesses across our global public health systems, and there is a surging demand for more effective strategies. Enhanced resources that we secure in the next few years will enable targeted growth in emerging areas of critical importance that require Brown’s cross-disciplinary strengths, such as climate change and health, combating misinformation in public health and greater equity in health care delivery.”

“If you take a holistic approach to educating students that includes their creative side and their practical or scientific side, you will produce students who have compassion, empathy and think beyond themselves, which is something we need even more today and as we move to the future."

Avery Willis Hoffman Artistic Director for the Brown Arts Institute
Avery Willis Hoffman

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.

Avery Willis Hoffman, artistic director for the Brown Arts Institute, said these activities will attract more students to the creative arts at Brown, regardless of their concentrations, an outcome that has wide-ranging benefits: “If you take a holistic approach to educating students that includes their creative side and their practical or scientific side, you will produce students who have compassion, empathy and think beyond themselves, which is something we need even more today and as we move to the future,” Hoffman said. “If young people can be in a place that acknowledges their humanity in this way, they’ll emerge as better citizens.”

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 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 the University 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 benefitted from strong donor interest and support.

A specific focus during the extension will be scholarship support for international students at Brown. The University is raising funds with the goal of becoming the sixth university in the United States to admit international undergraduates without considering financial need, beginning with those applying to the Class of 2029. 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.

“While we have seen the University’s overall financial aid budget grow significantly in the past decade, financial support for international students has not kept that same pace,” Paxson said. “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 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. It also includes 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. M. Grace Calhoun, the division’s vice president who joined Brown in 2021, said Brown Athletics is embarking on a bold vision for the future, and the extended campaign can bring investments that will advance a vision to “reimagine athletics and fulfill championship aspirations.”

“All of the programs within Brown Athletics and Recreation — nationally competitive varsity sports, abundant club-team opportunities, spirited intramurals and classes for casual fitness participants — drive engagement, strengthen community, build pride and promote wellness across our full student body,” Calhoun said. “These programs can transform lives through competition, holistic development and a focus on wellness, and we truly have an opportunity to re-envision how and where students compete, gather together and grow.”

“Brown students and faculty are doing incredible work that is not only taking the University to new levels of excellence, but that is also having far-reaching impact and touching lives in transformative ways.”

Sergio Gonzalez Senior Vice President for Advancement
Sergio Gonzalez

With year one of the extension underway and a current fundraising total of $3.2 billion, Senior Vice President for Advancement Sergio Gonzalez said that significant progress is already being made toward the new $4 billion goal, thanks to the dedication of the Brown community.

“Brown students and faculty are doing incredible work that is not only taking the University to new levels of excellence, but that is also having far-reaching impact and touching lives in transformative ways,” Gonzalez said. “Our alumni, parents and friends want to join them in making meaningful change for good and ensuring that this university that means so much to them holds its place as one of the very best in the world.”