Gifts in Action: Theodore L. and Audrey C. Brown, AB '89 Sciences and Letters, Religious Studies
Providing a Strong Start for Promising Students
Ted and Audrey Brown's association with the University of Illinois has been a mutually beneficial relationship that has strengthened over the years.
During his 38-year career with the University, Ted served in a variety of positions. He was a professor of chemistry, the vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, the founding director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Sciences and Technology, and the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Audrey's association with the U of I has been equally vital. After raising five children, she enrolled in LAS and received her degree in religious studies in 1989. An active volunteer in the Urbana-Champaign communities for many years, Audrey has also served as a member of a member of the board of trustees for the University YMCA.
Grateful for the longtime affiliation with the University and the students they have come to know over the years, the Browns created the Theodore L. and Audrey C. Brown Scholarships as a tribute to those relationships and as a way to assist those just beginning their U of I experience. Each recipient may qualify to hold a scholarship for two years, depending on continued academic excellence and demonstrated need. "We wanted the award to be significant so that students could feel that they could rely on adequate funding for the initial years of their education in order to better focus on their studies," Ted says.
Although their retirement activities and Ted's involvement on various scientific boards take them away from campus much of the year, they are still very much connected to the University and the students, both through their work and their generosity. "We want to help students gain the most from their U of I educations, and through the scholarship fund we have found a way to share in a part of their lives," says Ted.
Impacting Other's Lives
Kinga Baran knows firsthand the impact of the Brown's generosity. As one of the first recipients of a Brown Scholarship, she appreciates the financial commitment they have made to undergraduate education and to ensuring that new students get a strong start to their U of I experience.
"I grew up in Poland and moved to the United States in 1995. After I decided to major in chemical engineering, I knew that Illinois was the right choice because of its strong reputation in the sciences. This scholarship has made it possible for me to concentrate on my studies by taking away the stress of worrying about my financial situation, and it has given me some extra time to study and participate in other areas of college life. Illinois is a place of many great resources and opportunities-the Brown scholarship has made me more confident about my ability to succeed."