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$4 billion university fundraising goal surpassed 10 months ahead of schedule
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$4 billion university fundraising goal surpassed 10 months ahead of schedule

BrownTogether, the University’s largest fundraising campaign, reached its $4 billion goal 10 months ahead of schedule, according to a letter to the community from President Christina Paxson.

The University first launched BrownTogether in 2015 with a funding goal of $3 billion. In 2021, after reaching the goal over a year before the campaign’s scheduled end, the University increased the goal and extended it through the end of 2024.

As of February, the campaign has raised $4.021 billion. Significant donations include a $100 million gift for the Carney Institute for Brain Science from Robert Carney and Nancy Carney, a $25 million gift from Jonathan Nelson  used to create the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship and a $50 million gift from Chancellor Samuel Mencoff  and Ann Mencoff toward biomedical research.

More recently, donations from Barry Sternlicht and Mimi Reichert Sternlicht helped establish the Sternlicht Commons and Brown University Health & Wellness Center.

Funding from BrownTogether has been used to establish endowed professorships, hire more faculty and staff and support financial aid programs, according to a 2021 release from the University. Brown recently announced a shift toward need-blind admissions for international student applicants which the campaign will also support.

Over the summer, leadership over the campaign will be transferred to incoming Chancellor Brian Moynihan with the continued support of co-chairs Theresia Gouw, Ralph Rosenberg  and Joan Wernig Sorensen, all either current or former trustees and fellows of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. When the campaign was first launched, it had 12 co-chairs, including Martin Granoff  and Nelson, both significant donors themselves.

“Even as we have met the overall fundraising goal, we continue to build investment for a range of priorities, including some that emerged as new opportunities to make an impact since the early launch of the campaign,” Paxson wrote in an email to The Herald. “The always-shifting landscape of education and research has continued to help shape original priorities, while also allowing us to align our research and scholarly expertise to make an impact in evolving and emerging fields.”

Priorities for the last few months of the campaign will include fundraising for the arts and the humanities, as well as the physical, life and environmental sciences, Paxson wrote, adding that “financial aid, diversity and inclusion initiatives, athletics… and career preparation” will remain priorities.

Photo: Samuel M. Mencoff is a Founding Partner and Co-CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners, one of the nation’s leading private equity investment firms. Mencoff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Anthropology from Brown in 1978. As a student, he served as President of the Association of Fraternity Presidents. He was elected Brown’s 21st Chancellor in 2016, after having served on the Corporation as a Fellow since 2009. Previously he served on the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. He is a Co-Chair of the BrownTogether campaign, and chairs the Corporation’s Committee on Trustee Vacancies. Mencoff earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1981. He serves as a Commissioner of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, and is a director of Packaging Corporation of America, World Business Chicago, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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