Office of the President
May 27, 2016
Tags Community Messages

May 2016 Corporation Meeting: Engineering Research Center, Wilson Hall, Watson Institute Expansion

From the President

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I am writing to share news of the recently completed May meeting of the Corporation of Brown University. Over the past week, the Corporation engaged in discussion and took action on a number of priorities in support of the Building on Distinction strategic plan; elected new members to its Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows; named members of the faculty to endowed chairs; accepted many generous gifts in support of students, faculty and staff; and engaged in discussion with faculty, students and administrators on a range of topics affecting academics, planning, and campus life.

Strategic Planning and Other Business

Over the course of several days of meetings, members of the Corporation discussed progress in the areas of sustainable academic excellence; parameters for growth of students, faculty and staff; BrownTogether fundraising success; and other academic priorities. These included discussions regarding academic metrics, the Data Science Initiative, updates from the School of Public Health, and College Admission.

In the area of capital projects, members of the Corporation joined faculty, students, staff, neighbors and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to celebrate the topping off of the new building for the School of Engineering. The Committee on Facilities & Campus Planning heard progress reports on a number of capital projects in various stages of planning, and the Committee on Budget & Finance authorized architect selection for a new building for the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, made possible by generous philanthropy announced earlier this year. Budget & Finance also authorized architect selection for the renovation of Wilson Hall, which will include making that important classroom building fully accessible, and the renovation of the lower level of the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center.

On Wednesday, members of the Corporation engaged in informal discussion groups with students on two topics of great importance: “Student Work Experience at Brown” and “Diversity in the Curriculum.” This was part of the continued effort to increase communication and engagement between members of the Corporation and the student body. The Committee on Campus Life also hosted a breakfast discussion with graduate students.

Election of Trustees, Fellows and Other Actions

The Corporation elected the following new Trustees: John B. Ehrenkranz ’87, Charles H. Giancarlo ’79, Pamela Reeves ’87, Matthew I. Sirovich ’87 and Zachary J. Schreiber ’95. Mya L. Roberson ’16 will serve a three-year term as a Young Alumni Trustee. Jerome C. Vascellaro ’74 and Brian T. Moynihan ’81 were elected to the Board of Fellows. Theresia Gouw ’90 and Samuel M. Mencoff ’78 were elected to the Board of Trustees due to their election in February as Treasurer and Chancellor, respectively, of the Corporation, effective July 1, 2016. Brief biographical notes on the new Trustees are available online.

The Corporation approved the appointment of the following faculty to named chairs:

  • Edward Akelman, Vincent Zecchino, M.D. Professor of Orthopaedics;
  • Mary Fennell, C.V. Starr Professor of Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship;
  • Philip Gould, Israel J. Kapstein Professor of English;
  • Yannis Hamilakis, Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies;
  • Maurice Herlihy, An Wang Professor of Computer Science;
  • Sharon Krause, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of Political Science;
  • Andrew Laird, John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and Humanities;
  • Nitin Padture, Otis Everett Randall University Professor of Engineering;
  • Eric Patashnik, Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy;
  • Amy Remensnyder, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of History;
  • Patricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies;
  • Shouheng Sun, Vernon K. Krieble Professor of Chemistry;
  • Eliezer Upfal, Rush C. Hawkins Professor of Computer Science;
  • Akilah Dulin Keita, Manning Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences;
  • James Kellner, Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Jr. Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies;
  • Stephen Kidd, Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Classics;
  • Brandon Marshall, Manning Assistant Professor of Epidemiology;
  • Monica Muñoz Martinez, Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of American Studies;
  • Kristina Mendicino, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Humanities;
  • Sreemati Mitter, Kutayba Alghanim Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History and International and Public Affairs;
  • Nicola Neretti, Vartan Gregorian Assistant Professor of Biology;
  • Jayanti Owens, Mary Tefft and John Hazen White, Sr. Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs and Sociology;
  • Bryce Steinberg, Stephen Robert Assistant Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs.

The Board of Fellows approved the recommendation of the faculty to establish a Certificate Program in Clinical and Translational Research. At a meeting earlier this spring, the Fellows approved the recommendations of the faculty to establish an Executive Master’s Degree in Science and Technology Leadership and a Master’s Degree Program in Data Science, both effective July 1, 2016. The Fellows also approved the candidates for more than 2,550 degrees, to be awarded at Commencement on Sunday, May 29.

Acceptance of Gifts

Formally launched in October 2015, as of today the BrownTogether campaign has reached the $1.06 billion mark, towards a comprehensive goal of $3 billion. This milestone comprises gifts of many dollar amounts, and all are essential to our success and deeply appreciated. The Corporation formally accepts gifts and pledges in the amount of $1 million or more, and many of those which have been made since the February meeting are listed here and information about others will be announced in the coming weeks.

  • From Elie Hirschfeld ’71, P’06, P’16, P’20 and Sarah S. Hirschfeld, M.D. P’06, P’16, P’20, a gift of $3,500,000 to support renovations to and maintenance of 163 George Street;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $2,500,000 to establish the Wealth and Income Inequality Project within the Economics Department;
  • From John G. Berylson ’75, a gift of $2,600,000, of which $2,500,000 will support the Football locker room renovation project and $100,000 will establish the John G. Berylson ’75 and John Heisman Football Prize;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $2,000,000 to support the Baseball Field Project and the Baseball Program;
  • From an anonymous alumnus from London, a gift of $1,500,000 to endow a post-doctoral fellowship within the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs;
  • From anonymous alumni of the class of 1993, a gift of $1,250,000, of which $250,000 will support the Brown Annual Fund and $1,000,000 will support other priorities pending donor designation;
  • From Michael P. Esposito III ’86, a gift of $1,000,000, of which $650,000 will establish the Michael P. Esposito III ’86 Endowed Scholarship Fund and $350,000 will support the Brown Annual Fund;
  • From anonymous international parents, a gift of $1,000,000, of which $125,000 will support the Brown Annual Fund and $875,000 will support other priorities pending donor designation

The Corporation also approved the naming of 163 George St. as the Elie Hirschfeld House in honor and recognition of Elie Hirschfeld ’71, P’06, P’16, P’20 for his generous support of the Program in Judaic Studies and its faculty, students, and scholarship. Finally, the Corporation also endorsed a resolution of appreciation for Dean of the Graduate School Peter Weber for his service to Brown and wished him great success upon his return to the faculty.


On Thursday evening, members of the Corporation gathered to celebrate the leadership of Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch and Vice Chancellor Jerome C. Vascellaro, who concluded nine years of service in those positions with this set of meetings. Tom and Jerome have been stalwart champions of Brown and the contributions they have made to the success of our community are beyond measure. I am deeply grateful for all that they have done for Brown over the past decade and will continue to do in the years to come.


Christina H. Paxson

Further information about the Corporation is available.