During its annual Commencement week meeting, the University's governing body also approved the awarding of 2,795 degrees at Sunday's ceremonies.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — During its annual Commencement week meeting on May 24 and 25, the Corporation of Brown University approved Class of 2018 degree candidates, discussed a preliminary plan to cut the University’s net greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero, and elected four new members.

Brown’s governing board also formally approved a site between Angell and Olive streets for a new performing arts center. The site is part of a revised plan for a new PAC on College Hill approved by the Providence City Plan Commission in April.

The Corporation’s Board of Fellows approved the awarding of 2,795 degrees at the University’s 250th Commencement on Sunday, May 27. The awarding of academic degrees is a responsibility reserved for the Board of Fellows, according to Brown’s 1764 charter.

Election of new trustees

Four new trustees — Dr. Preetha Basaviah, Pablo Legorreta, Viet Nguyen and Perri A. Peltz — were elected by the Corporation. Nguyen will serve as a new alumni trustee.

  • Preetha Basaviah, a 1991 Brown biology graduate who earned an M.D. from the Warren Alpert Medical School in 1995, is assistant dean of pre-clerkship education and a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University. After earning her M.D. from Brown, Dr. Basaviah completed her internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard, including a role as a primary care chief resident at West Roxbury Veteran’s Administration Hospital. She completed a fellowship in medical education at the Harvard Institute for Education and Research. She served as one of the first hospitalists and as an associate firm chief at BIDMC. Next, she served as an academic hospitalist, a teaching academy member and a teaching scholar at the University of California, San Francisco. At Stanford since 2006, she is an educator for CARE (Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, Advocacy), a teaching academy member and an attending physician. Dr. Basaviah has earned national, regional and institutional awards for teaching, mentoring and scholarship in medical education, including honors as Educator of the Year from the Society of General Internal Medicine.
     
  • Pablo Legorreta is the parent of a current Brown undergraduate and CEO of Royalty Pharma, which he founded in 1996. Royalty Pharma is the industry leader in acquiring revenue-producing intellectual property in leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology products. Prior to founding Royalty Pharma, Legorreta spent a decade at Lazard Frères in Paris and New York, where he provided cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance advice to corporations. He holds a degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Legorreta is the founder and chairman of Alianza Médica para la Salud, a privately funded not-for-profit foundation that educates Latin American doctors and health care providers to improve the quality of healthcare in Latin America. In addition, he serves on the boards of the New York Academy of Sciences, Rockefeller University, the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Pasteur Foundation, the Open Medical Institute, the Park Avenue Armory and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
     
  • Viet Nguyen, a 2017 Brown graduate, will serve as a new alumni trustee for a two-year term through June 30, 2020. He currently teaches English in South Korea on a Fulbright scholarship and is co-founder and executive director of EdMobilizer, a nonprofit that promotes nationwide policy reform to benefit low-income and first-generation college students. Nguyen came to Brown with interests in neuroscience, computer science, and public health and policy; ultimately, his commitment to educational equity for students from all backgrounds led him to concentrate in education studies. As president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, he led successful efforts to eliminate application fees for low-income and first-generation applicants and to mandate sexual assault prevention training for all student groups on campus. He also served as president of the Brown Lecture Board and as executive director of 1vyG, the first-generation Ivy League students conference. He received a Joslin Award for his contributions to the quality of student life and served as a senior orator at Brown’s 2017 Commencement. After he returns from South Korea, Nguyen plans to work for the nonprofit Bridgespan Group before enrolling at Stanford for an MBA.
     
  • Perri A. Peltz is a 1982 graduate of Brown, parent to two Brown students, and a journalist, filmmaker and public health advocate. As a documentary filmmaker, Peltz most recently directed “Warning: This Drug May Kill You” and “Risky Drinking,” both for HBO. Other credits include HBO's “Remembering the Artist Robert DeNiro Sr.,” “The Education of Dee Dee Ricks,” “A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers," and "Prison Dogs.” She has also directed multiple segments for The New York Times Op-Docs series and hosts “The Perri Peltz Show” and “Doctor Radio Reports” on SiriusXM. Peltz has worked as a broadcast journalist at NBC, ABC and CNN, where she focused on poverty and health and won numerous awards, including several for her reporting on the misdiagnosis of melanoma. In association with the Robin Hood Foundation, she developed volunteer programs to assist organizations in fighting poverty. Peltz holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Brown and a master of public health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she is a doctoral candidate. She is a member of the board of overseers at the Mailman School, a director of the Tribeca Film Institute and a board member of the Tory Burch Foundation. 

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.