Passion Spurs Renewed Giving Providing Support in Perpetuity for Underrepresented Minority Engineers
As we reflect one year after the passing of Henry T. Brown, we are buoyed by the amazing work done in his name as we turn to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC).
A small group of AIChE Foundation Trustees elected to focus their fundraising efforts in the second half of 2020 on achieving the fundraising goal of the Henry T. & Melinda C. B Brown Endowment as earlier in the year, the fund was at $181,000 – a shortfall of $119,000.
Co-Chairs of the Brown Endowment, Otis Shelton and Soni Oyekan, led the effort, collectively donating more than half of the needed funds. Their efforts, were elevated by a dedicated steering committee and enhanced by fellow Trustees Bill Byers, Lance Collins, Deb Grubbe, Scott Love and Jim Porter, ensuring we exceeded the fundraising goal during the last month of 2020.
This collaboration ensured that the Brown Endowment for the Education of Underrepresented Minority Chemical Engineers exists in perpetuity, enabling the awarding of up to 30 academic scholarships annually to support the education of future minority chemical engineers.
I was fortunate to know Henry for more than 50 years and lucky that we could partner on what would become a flagship program of AIChE and continues to this day to attract and engage minority students into the bold possibilities that await one in science and engineering. - Gerry Lessells
Future chemical engineers, like Prairie View University undergraduate chemical engineering student, Abidemi A., shared the impact of selection as a two-time MAC Scholar, “Receiving this scholarship helped me to realize that the sky is not a limit but a stepping stone into space where I can be all that I can be.”
Henry’s devotion to equity for minority engineers made an indelible impression on the Institute and led to the development of AIChE’s aspiration to cultivate a community of chemical engineers which is equitable, diverse and inclusive.
As long-time friend, fellow MIT alum and co-founder of MAC, Gerry Lessells eloquently said, “I was fortunate to know Henry for more than 50 years and lucky that we could partner on what would become a flagship program of AIChE and continues to this day to attract and engage minority students into the bold possibilities that await one in science and engineering."
We are deeply grateful to our Trustees for spearheading this activity and inspiring the Board of Directors to join them in this fundraising campaign. Their personal commitment inspired many others, including numerous chemical engineers Henry mentored and encouraged, to join the effort and exceed the fundraising goal.
To learn more about how you can following Henry’s footsteps and positively impact young engineers as they enter the chemical engineering profession, join us today with a gift to the AIChE Foundation