Distributed March 26, 2002
News Service Contact: Tracie Sweeney
Initiatives for Academic Enrichment
Starr Foundation donates $15 million to Brown for financial aid
A Starr Foundation gift of $15 million will endow undergraduate scholarships at Brown University. The gift is the largest ever received by Brown in support of financial aid.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Starr Foundation has donated $15 million to endow undergraduate scholarships at Brown University. This is the largest gift in support of financial aid in the University’s history.
The donation will significantly advance Brown’s goal of providing educational opportunities to qualified students regardless of their financial ability to meet the cost of higher education.
“Because of the outstanding education Brown provides, the University has a special obligation to the country to be available for its best minds, irrespective of the student’s ability to pay,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “The Starr Foundation’s gift of $15 million will help us support our students at the highest level. I am deeply grateful for the Foundation’s continued generosity, support and partnership.”
On Feb. 23, 2002, the Brown Corporation, the University’s governing body, endorsed a need-blind admission policy as a component of the University’s Initiatives for Academic Enrichment. The Class of 2007 will be the first admitted under the policy, which will require Brown to increase the endowment designated for this purpose by more than $100 million. The $15-million gift from The Starr Foundation is the first contribution toward that goal since the Initiatives were approved.
“Education has traditionally been the largest area of giving for The Starr Foundation,” said Maurice R. Greenberg, chairman of The Starr Foundation and a father of two Brown graduates. “We are delighted to show our support for Brown’s need-blind admission policy with this gift and hope it inspires others to give as well.”
“Brown University’s commitment to supporting the best and brightest students regardless of their financial circumstance is laudable,” said Florence Davis, president of The Starr Foundation. “We are pleased to support the University’s efforts toward achieving this worthy goal.”
The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, founder of the American International family of insurance and financial services companies now known as American International Group (AIG) Inc. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919. He died in 1968 at the age of 76, leaving his estate to the Foundation.
The Foundation has endowed C.V. Starr Scholarship Funds at more than 80 colleges and universities and selected secondary schools. Since 1980, thirty-three Brown students have received C.V. Starr Scholarships.
“Brown’s C.V. Starr Scholars have honored Mr. Starr’s legacy as they have pursued a diverse range of academic interests, from engineering and modern languages to political science and medicine,” said Greenberg, who also is chairman of AIG. “I am delighted that the Foundation is able to expand our support of undergraduate scholarships at Brown as President Simmons begins her leadership of this preeminent University.”
Approximately 37 percent of current Brown students receive financial aid packages that include University scholarships, and the University’s commitment to student aid continues to be one of the fastest-growing items in its operating budget. The scholarship budget for fiscal year 2002 is $35.4 million, more than 25 percent of which is derived from endowment income – or more than $9 million annually. The Starr Foundation gift will increase the endowment income available for this purpose by 6 percent, providing Brown with the resources to provide financial aid awards for 30 to 40 students each year beyond the numbers currently supported.
Financial aid at Brown is provided on the principle that qualified students, regardless of their ability to meet the costs of higher education, should be assisted in their pursuit of a university education. The University helps students meet their college expenses through a comprehensive program of scholarships, grants, loans and student employment.
Brown provides 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need for all students who matriculate. As an Ivy League institution, Brown does not offer aid based on academic achievement, athletic ability or other forms of merit.