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U. receives $4.5 million gift for creative arts building

Friday, October 28, 2005

At its October meeting last weekend, the Corporation pushed forward the construction of a new creative arts building, accepted millions of dollars in gifts and appointed many professors to endowed chairs.

An anonymous donor gave $4.5 million for the creative arts building and $500,000 to the Brown Annual Fund, President Ruth Simmons wrote in a campus-wide e-mail Thursday. The Corporation’s Committee on Facilities and Design decided on the area currently occupied by the American Civilization department and an adjacent apartment building on Waterman Street as the future site of the new arts building.

The Corporation approved the creative arts building project during its February 2005 meeting. The building will provide “a place for flexible, modular, and acoustically designed performance spaces, exhibition spaces for new media, and multimedia and digital arts labs and production studios,” Simmons wrote.

Simmons also announced that Toshiko Mori, chair of the Department of Architecture at Harvard Design School, will serve as the architect for renovations to Pembroke Hall to house the Humanities Center and the Pembroke Center.

The Annual Fund received a $1 million donation from an emeritus trustee from a trust established in 1997 for the benefit of the University, Simmons wrote.

The meeting of the Corporation coincided with the inception of the $1.4 billion Campaign for Academic Enrichment. As of Saturday, the University had raised $575 million including a surprise $3.5 million gift from Corporation members to the Annual Fund raised two days before the campaign’s kickoff.

Simmons wrote that donors’ interest in a “social choice fund” has increased, and that the Corporation’s Investment Com-mittee considered a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investing to create such a socially responsible fund. Ultimately, Corporation members decided to defer this move.

The Corporation also approved appointments of multiple faculty members to endowed chairs in the mathematics, economics, English, classics and history departments, Simmons wrote.

Meanwhile, two professors – Professor of Mathematics Thomas Banchoff and Professor of Classics and History Kurt Raaflaub, the David Herlihy University professor – were named Royce Family Professors of Teaching Excellence, the University announced Wed-nesday. The award, which lasts for three years, includes a $20,000 annual stipend and a fund for supplies, teaching assistants and projects related to their teaching activities.

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