New class of Brown Fellows receive prestigious “gift”
July 22, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
Fellows. They, along with the 10 new Brown Fellows at the
University of Louisville, were recently honored at a luncheon at
the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Richard Trollinger (above), vice-president for college relations
at Centre, spoke to the Fellows about the importance of gifts.
Last fall, Centre College’s first class of Brown Fellows arrived on campus. Joining them this year are 10 new first-year students who have received the state’s most prestigious fellowship. On Friday, July 16, the new class of Brown Fellows was honored at the 2010 Recognition Event at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville.
The Brown Fellows Program—which covers each student’s full tuition, room and board, four summer enrichment programs, on-campus program mentors, field-based experimental learning opportunities and more—was launched last year by the James Graham Brown Foundation. The foundation selected Centre as the private institution, along with the University of Louisville as the public campus, as the hosts of the Program.
At the luncheon, the 20 new Fellows (10 to attend Centre, 10 to attend U of L) mingled with the Brown Fellows of the class of 2013. The new class includes 13 Kentuckians and seven out-of-state students.
Before they arrive at their respective college campuses, the new Fellows will head to Vietnam and Cambodia for their first international experience with the Program.
The trip, Brown Fellows administrative director Aris Cedeño advised them at the luncheon, is rewarding in countless ways, perhaps most importantly in allowing the Fellows to cement new friendships. “The most important outcome of last year’s trip to Panama,” he says, “was the friendships the Fellows formed. Each started their college years with 19 new friends.”
He also told the audience that “this year’s trip to Vietnam promises to be as good—or better—than the trip to Panama.”
Alex Rankin, chairman of the board of the James Graham Brown Foundation, also spoke to the Fellows, not only about James Graham Brown’s life but also about the Brown Fellows Program in general. “This is the exciting, transformational program of our foundation,” he says. “And the important people are you, the Fellows.”
The goal of the program, he continued, is to “attract leaders who create leading institutions that drive excellence. We hope than in 10 years, you will be mentors to future Brown Fellows.”
Following Rankin, Centre vice-president for college relations, Richard Trollinger, addressed the students, as did U of L president, James Ramsey.
“What we are about here today is a celebration of gifts,” Trollinger said to the Fellows. “This event is clearly a celebration of James Graham Brown’s wonderfully generous gift creating the foundation that bears his name.
“But it is about more than just Mr. Brown’s gift,” he continued. “Gifts serve many purposes. They mark special occasions such as important religious holidays. They also mark rites of passage, such as graduation from high school. They…establish and maintain relationships. Gifts bring people together and help keep them together. Another characteristic of a gift is that it creates an expectation that it will in some fashion be reciprocated.”
Trollinger compared the gift of the Fellowship to Prometheus's gift of fire to humankind. He continued, “The Brown Fellows Program will add fire to your undergraduate education. Be sure to take full advantage of it. In part, we want you to take full advantage of the opportunities that the Brown Fellows Program offers because we are excited about the gifts you bring with you. We want to see you perfect them, and, most of all, we are eager to see how you will reciprocate when your formal education is complete and you begin to make your contributions to creating a better world. Because of you, I am optimistic about the future.”
The following are the 10 Centre students who have been named this year’s Brown Fellows:
Ann Corbitt of Conway, Arkansas
Michael Fryar of Lexington, Kentucky
Madeline Hooper of Little Rock, Arkansas
Alexander Hurley of Weldon Springs, Missouri
Rachel Ison of Greenup, Kentucky
Audrey Jenkins of Sioux City, Iowa
Rahul Joseph of Lexington, Kentucky
Stephen Metcalf of Ashland, Kentucky
Catherine Parks of Salisbury, North Carolina
William Williamson of Asheville, North Carolina