Centre celebrates first graduating class of Brown Fellows

Posted by Centre News in Academics, Campus, Fellowships and Honors, News 23 May 2013

pope_natalie_brown_fellowCommencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 19, marked the end and the beginning of a wonderful adventure for Centre’s first graduating class of Brown Fellows.

Among the 293 graduates of 2013 were the first ten recipients of the prestigious Brown Fellows award, the premier scholarship and enrichment program in Kentucky and one of the nation’s elite fellowships. The Brown Fellowship Program is one program with two campuses – one private and one public. Centre is the only private college in Kentucky chosen to partner with the James Graham Brown Foundation to provide this program to some of the nation’s best students. The University of Louisville is the public partner.

To mark Sunday’s milestone, the ten graduating seniors were honored at a brunch prior to commencement. The number of Brown Fellows has grown to 40 on Centre’s campus and 80 overall since Centre’s first group arrived in the fall of 2009.

“The Brown Fellows Brunch was an opportunity for the College to recognize the graduating Brown Fellows, and celebrate their successes,” said Academic Fellow Megan Noltemeyer who helped organize the event. “It also gave them an opportunity to thank some of the faculty and staff who were a part of their Centre story.”

“It was bittersweet to see this first group of ten Centre College Brown Fellow graduates finish their work here,” says Stephanie Fabritius, academic dean and Brown Fellows coordinator and mentor to the 2013 graduates. “They have all been leaders on campus both in and out of the classroom.”

The Brown Fellows Program is very competitive. Selected students are awarded “full-ride-plus” scholarships and are provided four summer enrichment experiences, beginning the summer before their first year at Centre. Summer enrichment experiences in subsequent years are organized around service, research, international study, and leadership.

Katie Smalley of Pegram, Tenn., is one of the 10 inaugural Fellows. She graduated with degrees in mathematics and French, and will be attending law school at the University of Tennessee.
“These past four years have been absolutely incredible. I have been able to try new things, connect with amazing professors, and make so many close friends.

“Centre is a place where your opportunities are only limited by what you can imagine, and the Brown Fellows Program has continued to push us all to dream bigger and reach higher both during our undergraduate years and beyond,” Smalley continues. “The program has been able to provide opportunities that I never would have imagined four years ago and I cannot begin to express my gratitude to both Centre and the Brown Foundation.”

Among the many accomplishments of this group of Brown Fellows were a Fulbright Fellowship (Ibrahim Jadoon), a valedictorian (Cara Monical), Phi Beta Kappas, collaborative research, unique and challenging internship opportunities, a John C. Young Scholar, and one, Natalie Pope, who studied abroad in five countries, setting a new Centre record.

“Through their Fellowship they’ve been able to travel the globe conducting research, service, activism, and leadership. They are ready to embark on their next adventures and I look forward to hearing about these next steps,” Fabritius says.

By Cindy Long