Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Brown Women's Leadership Council?
A: The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) is a diverse group of Brown women who, through their leadership, philanthropy and volunteerism, measurably enhance the University and the alumnae community.

The Council currently is comprised of 51 members—alumnae and parents of Brown graduates—appointed by the University’s President.

Q: What is the purpose of the Women's Leadership Council?
A: First convened by President Simmons in the fall of 2004, the Women’s Leadership Council fosters opportunities for networking, relationship building and philanthropy within the Brown community. 

Council activities include:

  • The Women’s Launch Pad (WLP)—a Brown-based mentoring program that facilitates relationships between alumnae and female students in their senior year at Brown.
  • Networking and social events held throughout the United States and around the world providing Brown alumnae opportunities to stay connected to the University and to each other.
  • Philanthropic initiatives such as:
    • The 2008 $1.5 million Women’s Leadership Challenge which inspired greater leadership giving from Brown alumnae and raised $3.2 million for  the University; and
    • The 2012 Women’s Leadership Council $1 million Brown Annual Fund GOLD Challenge, a 120-day Challenge in honor of 120 years of women at Brown which encouraged increased giving and participation from the University’s most recent graduates.

Q: How can I become a Women's Launch Pad (WLP) mentor?
A: If you are interested in mentoring a senior class woman, please review the following guidelines for participation in the Women’s Launch Pad as an alumna mentor.

  • 10 years since graduating, however, 5+ will be considered based on the alumna’s caliber of professional/personal life experiences.
  • Attendance at one on-campus or off-campus event such as the October program kickoff, the May year-end event or regional events over winter break and summer months.
  • A minimum of six contacts (via email, telephone or in person) from October to the end of April.
  • Be willing to listen to the mentee’s questions and concerns and share thoughts, guidance and perspective regarding life beyond Brown.
  • Provide a brief biographic sketch to include in the annual WLP program.
  • Be open to hearing from other mentees in the program as well.

To confirm your interest in mentoring for the upcoming academic year (2013-2014), please take the time to complete this mentor information form. The information provided will assist in the mentor/mentee pairing process. Please note that mentor/mentee pairs are based on the student’s preferences as indicated on her application (e.g. career field, concentration, graduate school, ethnicity, and living/working abroad). Therefore the program’s specific mentoring needs will not be known until the mentee application review and selection process concludes in mid-September.

To learn more about the program email with your questions.

Q: Who can join the Women's Leadership Council?
A: Since its founding in 2004, the Women’s Leadership Council has grown by invitation only at the discretion of the President.  Current Council Members, Corporation trustees and fellows, University staff and others in the Brown community nominate alumnae to create a roster of women who have demonstrated volunteer and philanthropic leadership at Brown.  Names are then presented to the President and invitations are extended.

Criteria for membership consideration include:

  • An alumna of Brown University or parent of a Brown student or graduate.
  • Demonstrating and encouraging a leadership commitment to philanthropic and volunteer initiatives at Brown.
  • Expressed interest in and concern for Brown and its educational programs.
  • Prominence achieved through professional work or volunteer activities.

Q: What are the Council Member terms?
A: Council Members serve a term of four years with the option of being renewed for an additional four years.  Responsibilities of a Council Member include:

  • Attend two Council meetings per year in May and October.  Meetings take place on Brown’s campus and typically last 1.5 to 2 days.
  • Participate in conference calls as deemed appropriate by the Chair/Co-Chairs through the course of the year.
  • Make a meaningful philanthropic commitment to Brown.
  • Serve on one of the Council’s four working committees:  Membership, Programming, Mentoring, or Communications.  

Q: How can I get involved with Brown?
A: There are many ways for alumnae to stay connected to the University. Here are a few opportunities offered by Brown:

  • Become a Women’s Launch Pad (WLP) mentor to a female student during her senior year at Brown.
  • Join the Alumni Interviewing Program, a program coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations, to interview and recruit the best applicants to the University.
  • Be an active participant in regional Brown Clubs and Associations.
  • Enroll in BRUnet, Brown’s Career Network, where students and alumni can learn from your career experiences.
  • Host a social, educational or networking event on behalf of Brown and in coordination with the Division of Advancement.  Email for more information.
  • Attend one of the many Women’s Leadership Council eventsthroughout the country.
  • Make a contribution, no matter the size, to the University.
  • Support University groups such as sports teams or special interest programs.

Q: How can I receive the Women’s Leadership Council newsletter?
A: Sign up for the Women’s Leadership Council newsletter or find us on  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.