Early Saturday evening, we learned of the tragic and untimely passing of Joseph M. Fernandez ’85, following a brief illness. An esteemed public servant and beloved member of our community, Joe served the Brown, Providence, and Rhode Island communities with distinction during his all too brief life.
At the time of his death, Joe was an alumnus trustee of the Brown Corporation and president of the Brown Alumni Association (BAA). As president of the BAA, he represented some 88,000 Brown alumni around the world. Having served as a Brown Alumni Schools Committees interviewer, a member of the Brown Corporation Committee on Minority Affairs, and a director of the Brown Club of Rhode Island, he was a consummate Brunonian. He also chaired the Multicultural Alumni Committee of the BAA Board of Governors after he became a member of that board. His many efforts on behalf of the University were acknowledged when, in 2006, he received the BAA’s Alumni Service Award which honors distinguished, continuing volunteer service to Brown.
An active civic leader committed to making a difference in Providence and Rhode Island, Joe recently ran as a Democratic candidate for the office of Rhode Island Attorney General. He had previously served as the city solicitor of the City of Providence and had been a trustee of Trinity Repertory Company and a director of the Community College of Rhode Island Foundation.
We are grateful for Joe’s many contributions to Brown, Providence and Rhode Island. His selfless service and uplifting spirit inspired us all. We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his wife and children as well as the rest of the immediate and extended family. We will miss him greatly.