The News Service
Largest single gift in Brown’s history
Brown Receives $100-Million Gift for Undergraduate Scholarships
Businessman Sidney E. Frank has given $100 million to Brown University to establish the Sidney E. Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund. The gift is the largest in the history of the University. (See also the text of President Simmons’s announcement.)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University has announced a $100-million gift for undergraduate financial aid from New York businessman Sidney E. Frank, a member of the Brown Class of 1942. Frank’s gift is the largest single gift in the University’s 240-year history.
“The unparalleled generosity and vision of this remarkable gift will make a significant difference in the lives of young people for generations to come,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. “By giving the University these new financial aid resources, Mr. Frank has ensured that the nation’s brightest young scholars can attend Brown regardless of their financial circumstances and without the specter of growing indebtedness.”
Under The Sidney E. Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund, Brown University will meet the demonstrated need of its neediest students by eliminating the loan portion of these students' financial aid and replacing it with scholarship funds. These students are currently expected to borrow between $9,000 and $15,000 during their four years at Brown. The recipients of these scholarships at Brown will be designated and known as Sidney E. Frank Scholars. The University will begin designating Sidney E. Frank Scholars in the class of students that arrives in the fall of 2005.
University officials believe that this $100-million gift for financial aid is one of the largest single outright gifts ever made for undergraduate scholarships to any college or university in the United States.
”I know from my own experience what a difference Brown can make in a young person’s life,” Frank said. “I’ve wanted to help more students find what I found – especially students who figured Brown was out of reach financially. Creating this scholarship fund seemed the best way to do that. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
Improvements to undergraduate financial aid are a high priority in the University’s Plan for Academic Enrichment. Beginning with the Class of 2006, Brown eliminated work-study requirements for first-year students, replacing those work-study funds with additional scholarships to allow those students to begin their studies without the distraction of having to work. One year later, Brown admitted the class of 2007 under a new need-blind admission policy. Approximately 42 percent of the student body at Brown receives some type of financial aid, with 40 percent receiving scholarship assistance directly from the University. The University’s average scholarship for incoming first-year students this fall will be approximately $21,750.
The announcement of the financial aid gift came just four months after Frank provided the University with a $20-million gift to build Sidney E. Frank Hall, a new academic building that will anchor a proposed green space and walkway linking the Pembroke Campus with the historic main campus. Construction on that building could begin in 2006.
A native of Norwich, Conn., Frank began his studies at Brown University as a member of the Class of 1942. He left for a war-time assignment in Asia, where he represented Pratt & Whitney Motors during World War II.
Upon his return to the United States in 1945, Frank found work with Schenley Distillers, beginning a long and remarkable career in the importation and marketing of distilled spirits. In 1972, he founded Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc., of which he continues as chairman. His reputation and skill as a brand builder led to the American marketing success of Jägermeister Liqueur, Grey Goose Vodka and Gekkeikan Saké.
Active in various professional, cultural, and charitable organizations, Frank is chairman of the board of the Sidney and Louise Frank Foundation and is a former board member of the Riverdale Country School, where he has established scholarships for scholar-athletes. An avid golfer and art collector, Frank and his wife, Marian, live in New Rochelle, N.Y. Frank has two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.