April 29th, 2013

$4M Shipley gift creates Beverly Brown Professorship

Thanks to a $4 million gift from BU Trustee Richard Shipley (SMG’68, GSM’72), a new professorship has been named in recognition of public health advocate Beverly A. Brown.

The Beverly A. Brown Professorship honors Brown, wife of BU President Robert A. Brown, for her commitment to BU’s Center for Global Health & Development as an unpaid director of development since 2010. Acknowledging that the gift announcement at the March trustees’ meeting left her “blown away,” Brown said she was excited about the prospect of the University hiring a faculty member whose research will be directed at eliminating public health disparities in urban areas, where 50 percent of the world’s populations reside.

In announcing the gift, Shipley—founder and managing director of Shiprock Capital—said that Brown had been “underacknowledged and probably underappreciated” for her work with the center.

Improving global urban health

Improving urban health has become a major goal of researchers at the Center for Global Health & Development, which launched a global urban health initiative in the fall of 2011 to meet the overwhelming challenges and needs of the rapidly expanding ranks of the world’s urban poor.

In her role as chief fundraiser for the center and a member of its advisory council, Brown has been immersed in numerous collaborations with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. With a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, Brown honed her organizational skills by working for such corporations as DuPont, Baxter International, PerkinElmer, and Linden Bioscience.

While the professorship could conceivably move among a number of related colleges and departments, the umbrella of global urban health was Brown’s choice.

A search is under way for an individual to fill the endowed chair.

The Beverly A. Brown Professorship is the second major endowed multidisciplinary chair devoted to improving global health research and treatment in the past year. In July 2012, the Robert and Jeanne Knox Foundation gave $2.5 million to create a professorship named for Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75), a post now held by Jonathon Simon, CGHD director and a School of Public Health professor.

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