In SummaryHoward University received a $5 million gift from an alumni couple to support the GRACE Grant for students.
Eddie C. Brown and C. Sylvia Brown have gifted Howard University with a $5 million gift to contribute to the Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence (GRACE) Grant for students who face financial challenges. The gift makes history as it is the largest alumni gift Howard University has ever received.
According to Howard University’s Newsroom, Eddie Brown is the founder, chairman and CEO of Brown Capital Management, a Baltimore-based asset management firm, which is the second oldest African American-owned investment management firm in the world.
“We are extremely grateful to Eddie and Sylvia for making this historic gift to Howard University,” said Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick.
“The GRACE Grant has helped to eliminate financial barriers to education for Howard students, and I am thrilled that the Browns were inspired to commit such a generous gift to this important fund. My hope is that students will be inspired by their story and generosity and that others in our alumni community will consider the many ways they, too, can impact current and future generations of Howard students.”
The college sweethearts met on Howard University’s campus in 1957. Eddie came from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to study engineering at just 16 years old. Sylvia came from King William, Virginia, to study liberal arts.
“I moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania when I was 15,” said Eddie. “We had a community organizer that would look out for the young Black children in the community. He came to me and my mother one day and said, ‘I was contacted by a woman who wants to help a young African-American student go to college.’ And it was my 10th grade English teacher, actually, who was a graduate of Howard [who] said, ‘You should go to Howard University.’”
The couple was inspired to support the university by their story and mutual love for Howard University. Eddie was fortunate to receive his college education debt free, and in return, he wants to bless other students who are less fortunate to have the same opportunity.
“I remember a minister of ours said something that we never forgot,” he said. “That those who are blessed should be a blessing to someone, especially those less fortunate. We always remember that. I was blessed to receive my college education debt free, and I think it’s important to offer those less fortunate the opportunity to do so as well.”
The couple hopes that the students who benefit from the gift put forth their best effort in being the best students they can be.