During its annual Commencement week meeting, the University’s governing body also approved the awarding of more than 2,500 degrees at Sunday’s ceremonies.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Corporation of Brown University during its Commencement week meetings approved the Class of 2017’s degree candidates, elected new members, appointed 15 faculty to endowed chairs and accepted major gifts. The Corporation also advanced two separate initiatives in support of Brown priorities — in the arts and in medical education and patient care.

During the May 25 and 26 meeting, the Corporation approved two critical steps toward realizing the University’s vision to create a cutting-edge performing arts center on campus. It voted to select the award-winning architecture firm REX to design the building and approved its site on the west side of The Walk, adjacent to other arts-centered academic facilities in the heart of its campus.

Separately, members of the Corporation joined the presidents of six physician practice foundations in Rhode Island in signing a formal agreement to create a new physician-led federation, Brown Physicians, Inc., in partnership with the University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. The effort is aimed at achieving greater integration of patient care, research and education across the region’s health care sector.

Also during the meeting, the Corporation officially accepted $40 million in gifts supporting the $3 billion BrownTogether campaign, including a gift of $5 million to establish scholarships for undocumented and refugee students.

As Brown University’s governing body, the Corporation comprises a 12-member Board of Fellows and a 42-member Board of Trustees. The University’s Charter of 1764 reserves certain powers, including the actual awarding of Brown degrees, for the Board of Fellows. At its meeting this week, the Board of Fellows approved the awarding of more than 2,500 degrees for the University’s 249th Commencement on Sunday, May 28.

Members of the Corporation also engaged in discussion with students, faculty and administrators on the University’s strategic plan and other topics related to academic affairs, admission and financial aid, campus planning, student life and fundraising. Members spoke with students on topics including inclusive classrooms and campus climate following last fall’s presidential election.

Election of fellows and trustees

Craig E. Barton, a 1978 graduate and a trustee since 2012, and Thomas J. Tisch, a 1976 graduate who served as a trustee from 2012 to 2016 and as Chancellor of Brown from 2007 to 2016, were elected to the Board of Fellows.

Seven new trustees — Chiamaka “Chichi” A. Anyoku, Bernadette Aulestia, Guoqing Chen, Libby A. Heimark, Galen V. Henderson, Jim Yong Kim and Kenneth H. McDaniel — were elected by the Corporation at its May 26 business meeting. Anyoku will serve as a new alumni trustee.

  • Chiamaka “Chichi” A. Anyoku, a 2014 Brown graduate, will serve as a new alumni trustee for a two-year term through June 30, 2019. She is a consultant at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Prior to A.T. Kearney, Anyoku worked at Cambridge Associates, where she advised universities and foundations with assets ranging from $40 million to over $3 billion. Anyoku volunteers at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center in New York and at Planned Parenthood and works as a pro-bono consultant for a public school in Brooklyn. At Brown, she is an alumni interviewer and serves as a member of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Participation Council. She served as a member of the Senior Gift Committee.
     
  • Bernadette Aulestia, a 1994 Brown graduate, is executive vice president of global distribution for HBO. She oversees network distribution and platforms worldwide, including operations of HBO-branded networks in 67 countries. When she joined the company in 1997, Aulestia successfully designed and oversaw the network’s first national Hispanic brand campaign and the creation of HBO Latino. In 2016, the National Diversity Council named her one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment. At Brown, she has served as vice president of class communications, co-chaired her class nomination committee and served on the reunion activities committee. She volunteered for the Alumni Interviewing Program and served on the Alumni of Color Gift Committee. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the Association of Class Leaders and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council.
     
  • Craig E. Barton, a 1978 Brown graduate, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2012. He is an accomplished architect, urbanist, educator and author. He is provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining the Art Institute, Barton was professor of architecture and urban design and director of the Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Previously, he held faculty positions at Columbia University, the City University of New York and the University of Virginia. Barton graduated from Brown in 1978 with a concentration in semiotics. He earned his master of architecture from Columbia University in 1985 and served as a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 1994 to 1995. He has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Jefferson School Community Partnership in Charlottesville, Virginia, the editorial boards of the University of Virginia Press, the Journal of Architectural Education and the Journal of Vernacular Architecture. He is currently a trustee of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
     
  • Guoqing Chen, a Brown parent, founded Hainan Airlines, now known as HNA Group, with his brother, Feng Chen, in 1993. With business operations in more than 100 countries, HNA Group employees more than 410,000 people. Chen also serves as chairman of HNA Group North America and vice chairman of HNA Foundation. He is committed to philanthropy and facilitates economic and cultural exchanges between the United States and China. He is a board of trustees member of Asia Society, founder of Asia Society Policy Institute, vice chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce-U.S.A., a board of trustees member of China Institute and a board member of Committee of 100. He also is a former trustee of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a member of Great Performers Circle and China Advisory Council. HNA Group, Chen and the Chen family are also active in supporting education and poverty alleviation, contributing and helping victims of disastrous earthquakes, tsunamis and more.
     
  • Libby A. Heimark, a 1976 graduate and Brown parent, is a former officer of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. She is managing director of the Heimark Family Vineyards. She founded the Chapin Foundation, which supports education. She was co-executive producer of “Queer City,” a 2016 documentary about LGBTQ life in New York City. At Brown, Heimark serves on the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice’s advisory board and the Women’s Leadership Council. Previously, she served on the President’s Leadership Council, the Advisory Council on Diversity and the Advisory Council on Admission. She has served as a class officer-at-large and as a reunion activities committee member. She was an Alumni Interviewing Program chair for six years and a vice chair for Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment.
     
  • Galen Henderson, a 1993 graduate of Brown’s medical school, served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. He is a neurologist and is director of the division of neurocritical care at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, he teaches and trains researchers, medical students, residents, fellows and other physicians. His research focuses on clinical trials regarding treatments for stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. Henderson is a founding deputy editor of Journal Watch Neurology and is a charter member of the Academy at Harvard Medical School, which comprises the school’s elite medical educators. The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services has recognized Henderson with an award for national leadership in hospital quality improvement in the areas of organ donation and transplantation. He is the president-elect of the Brown Alumni Association with his term as president to begin in July 2017; the association’s president is also elected to serve as a trustee for a six-year term. He is a former president of the Brown Medical Alumni Association and former member of the Corporation’s Emeriti Executive Committee. Henderson is active on advisory councils for the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership and the Science Center. He earned a Brown Bear Award for notable alumni service in 2014.
     
  • Jim Yong Kim, a 1982 graduate, is the 12th president of the World Bank Group. He assumed his position in July 2012 and has been reappointed to a second five-year term, beginning July 2017. Before joining the World Bank Group, Kim, a physician and anthropologist, served as the president of Dartmouth College and held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. From 2003 to 2005, as director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department, he led the “3 by 5” initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment, which helped to expand access to antiretroviral medication in developing countries. In 1987, Kim co-founded Partners In Health, a nonprofit medical organization that now works in poor communities on four continents. Kim has received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, was recognized as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
     
  • Kenneth H. McDaniel, a 1969 graduate and Brown parent, spent more than 30 years as deputy to the commanding officer of the Newport Division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. Earlier in his career, McDaniel founded and managed the Dropout Prevention Program for Providence Public Schools. Upon graduating from Brown after serving as the spokesperson for the 1968 black student walkout, he became an admission officer for the University. He served as co-chair of the Inman Page Black Alumni Council, served on the Brown Alumni Association's Board of Governors and volunteered as an alumni interviewer. He was a member of the Multicultural Alumni Committee, a longtime resource for Brown career services, a volunteer for his class’s reunion gift committee, and a member of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment’s Alumni of Color Initiative. He served on the Brown University Community Council and is currently serving on the Advisory Council on Relations with Tougaloo College.
     
  • Thomas J. Tisch, a 1976 graduate and a religious studies concentrator, previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2016 and was Chancellor of Brown from 2007 to 2016. He is managing partner of Four Partners, an investment firm in New York City. Tisch serves on the boards of directors of kgb, inc. and Sears Holdings Corporation. Additionally, he serves on the boards of trustees for the New York University Langone Medical Center and KIPP New York. He earned a J.D. from New York University in 1979.

Members of the Board of Trustees customarily serve six-year terms, with new alumni trustees serving for two years. Members are elected by the Corporation and are formally engaged in October at the first Corporation meeting of the academic year.

Gift acceptance, endowed positions

The Corporation discussed progress on the BrownTogether campaign, which was formally launched in October 2015 with a comprehensive goal of $3 billion. University policy requires that the Corporation formally accept gifts and pledges in the amount of $1 million or more. At its business meeting, the Corporation accepted 20 gifts and pledges made since its most recent meeting in February 2017, totaling more than $40 million.

Among those gifts, an anonymous commitment of $5 million will establish scholarships for undocumented and refugee students who have been displaced by strife in their home countries. The gift will support the financial needs of recipients at the undergraduate, graduate or medical school level, covering the full cost of tuition, room and board, books, travel costs and fees for co-curricular activities.

In recognition of specific gifts, the Corporation approved the naming of three spaces on campus:

  • the first-level common area of the new School of Engineering building will be named Hazeltine Commons with the support of a gift from Class of 1990 graduate Theresia Gouw, the Corporation’s treasurer;
     
  • the plaza outside the new School of Engineering building will be named Giancarlo Plaza with the support of a gift from Class of 1979 alumnus and Brown parent Charles H. Giancarlo; and
     
  • the baseball field at the Terrence Murray Baseball Stadium will be named Attanasio Family Field with the support of a gift from the Attanasio family; and
     
  • a green adjacent to the Terrence Murray Baseball Stadium will be named the Flanders Family Field with the support of Robert G. Flanders Jr., a Class of 1971 alumnus, and Ann I. Flanders.

In addition, the Corporation appointed 15 faculty members to named chairs:

  • Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities;
  • Rebecca Burwell, Albert D. Mead Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences;
  • S. James Gates, Ford Foundation Professor of Physics;
  • Jonathan Kurtis, Stanley M. Aronson Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine;
  • Rafael LaPorta, Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney University Professor of Economics;
  • Diane Lipscombe, Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science;
  • Robert Preucel, James Manning Professor of Anthropology;
  • Laurence Smith, John Atwater and Diana L. Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies;
  • Peter Szendy, David Herlihy University Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature;
  • Margaret Weir, Wilson Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science;
  • Ellen Rooney, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of English and Modern Culture and Media;
  • Bjorn Sandstede, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of Applied Mathematics;
  • Thomas Bartnikas, Manning Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine;
  • Hannah Freed-Thall, William A. Dyer, Jr. Assistant Professor of the Humanities;
  • Stefanie Tellex, Joukowsky Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science.

The Corporation will hold its next regular meeting in October.