Ann Lee Brown
gives $10.5 million to U.Va.|
Gift benefits library, Engineering School and Jefferson Scholars
By Charlotte Crystal
Ann Lee Brown, widow of Charles L. Brown, has given $10.5
million to the University, with $5 million earmarked
for the School
of Engineering and Applied Science,
$500,000 for an engineering scholarship and $5 million earmarked for the University
Mrs. Brown’s gift, made in honor of her husband who graduated from U.Va.
in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, has established
for the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which has been
formally renamed the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer
It is the first department in the Engineering School to be endowed and named.
She also has endowed the Charles L. Brown Jefferson Scholarship for an undergraduate
Mrs. Brown’s gift to the University Library likewise has created an endowment
for the Science and Engineering Library in Clark Hall, which has been renamed
the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library.
L. Brown’s devotion to the
University was deep and wide, touching nearly every area of academic
President John T. Casteen III. “I am grateful to Ann Lee Brown for these
extraordinary gifts, which reflect Charlie’s abiding loyalty to the Engineering
School and his broader commitment to the intellectual vitality of the University.
I am especially pleased that we have the opportunity to pay tribute in a visible
and lasting way to Charlie Brown and all that he meant to this institution.”
1980, Mr. Brown spoke at U.Va. Final Exercises and noted
that the University was a different
place than when he was a student. He said then that he
would do whatever he could to
continue to improve. He remained
true to that pledge by giving the University more than
$1.16 million during his lifetime.
In addition to his allegiance to the Engineering School,
his devotion to the core academic mission of the University
inspired him to support
College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Architecture, the Shannon Center for Advanced
Studies and other academic areas. He also served on the board of the Jefferson
Mr. Brown was on the steering committee of the University’s first comprehensive
fund-raising campaign in the 1980s and served on the Board of Visitors from 1986
to 1990. He served as vice chairman of the
executive committee and as chairman of the National Leadership
Gifts Council, a coast-to-coast network of campaign volunteers,
capital campaign that ended in 2000.
revenue generated from the endowment of the Charles L.
Brown Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering will be used
in part to fund
department to draw top graduate students who are key to attracting
and retaining outstanding research faculty, said James Aylor,
of the Engineering
School. The gift also will fund enhancements to the undergraduate
lab experience in electrical and computer engineering and strengthen
stature in electrical engineering education and research, Aylor said.
In 2003, the University completed an extensive renovation
of the Science and Engineering Library, creating
an ideal environment
offering state-of-the-art technology, inviting spaces for
research, and a magnificent reading room.
The Browns’ generosity will have a large and lasting impact on science
and engineering education at U.Va.,” said University Librarian Karin Wittenborg. “Endowing
this extraordinary building
today will ensure that the Charles L. Brown Science and
Engineering Library will serve successive generations of
faculty, giving them
what they need
now and in the future.”
Charles Brown graduated during World War II and signed
on immediately with the U.S. Navy, serving until 1946
aboard the USS Mississippi
in the Pacific
At the end of the war, he took a job with AT&T, where he worked for more
than 40 years, serving as chairman and chief executive officer from 1979 to 1986.
Mr. Brown served on the corporate boards of Chemical
Financial Corp., Delta Air Lines, DuPont Co., General
Insurance Co. He also lent his expertise to worthy
nonprofit causes, including the boards
of Colonial Williamsburg, the Public Broadcasting
System, the Institute for Advanced
Studies, the Boy Scouts of America, the YMCA and
the National Parks Foundation. He died Nov. 12,
Ann Lee Brown was born and reared in Richmond, Va.,
where she graduated from the Collegiate School.
She later moved
she met Charles
Brown and developed a lifelong interest in horticulture
and early childhood education.
Brown’s connections to the University are a matter of great pride to
us,” Aylor said. “We are grateful
to Mrs. Brown for allowing us to honor her husband
in this way.
Charlie Brown exemplified Jeffersonian ideals
as an ethical,
and creative leader.”