Giving to Brown

Alumna's Legacy Topples Goal

Although no champagne-and-confetti celebration announced the fact, the Brown community is rejoicing that the original financial aid goal of $300 million was recently eclipsed. The individual who put us over the top? A longtime volunteer and Brown Annual Fund supporter who recently made her first endowed gift.

When Sue Buffum ’74 decided to establish a Chancellor's Scholarship at Brown, she wasn’t thinking of breaking records or forging new territory. Instead, she was remembering her dad’s recollections of his time on College Hill, comparing it to her own experience, and ensuring that future qualified students will have financial aid sufficient to embrace all Brown has to offer:

“Brown is a wonderful institution and had a great influence on my life. Those four years—the academic stimulation, the social environment, the first-time independence—were so critical; I remember them as though they were yesterday. Because my family was able to afford it, I reveled in my ‘Renaissance' education, taking courses in history, religious studies and Shakespeare, as well as those in my combined majors of mathematics and economics. I started becoming who I am today: a much more confident individual, ready to face the world.

If you want Brown to continue to be a top-notch institution, making financial aid available is critical. – Susan A. Buffum ’74

“My father, though, graduated from Brown in 1942 with an entirely different experience. He attended during the waning years of the Great Depression and worked long hours to pay for his tuition, commuting from home to save even more money. I know he loved it, but he gave up a lot to attend.

“I don’t know how most families can afford to send their children to college these days. I’ve made a bequest intention pledge, designating a portion of my retirement to this scholarship. The process was really easy. And I appreciate knowing that the University will have this money available in the future to help deserving students not only attend this school but enjoy their experience to the fullest.

“If you want Brown to continue to be a top-notch institution, making financial aid available is critical. I was thrilled that I allowed Brown to achieve the $300 million goal, but it was really not part of my thinking. It’s important that the Brown opportunity be available to the brightest students and that financial concerns not eliminate those who are qualified to attend.

“Having my father's name forever grace the scholarship alongside mine makes it all the more rewarding.”

In order to address the growing need for financial aid, the University has increased its goal to $400 million. Make a donation today.

This story originally appeared on the Boldly Brown: Campaign for Academic Enrichment website in March 2010.

Written by Catharine Beattie