Howard University has received its largest ever alumni donation from couple Eddie C. Brown and C. Sylvia Brown. Together, they donated $5 million to support the Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence (GRACE) Grant.
President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick voiced his gratitude for the pair, who graduated in 1961 and 1962. “The GRACE Grant has helped to eliminate financial barriers to education for Howard students, and my hope is that students will be inspired by their story and generosity.”
Eddie Brown founded and runs Brown Capital Management in Baltimore, the second oldest Black owned investment management firm worldwide. He met his wife Sylvia on the campus at Howard in 1957. Their love of the institution that gave them their start inspired the gift. Sylvia said it was not giving back, but “paying it forward.”
“I had student loans, and I know how hard that is,” said Sylvia. “Our mantra [is] to give to others and help them at least be able to get an undergraduate degree so they have a good foundation.”
Since its inception, the GRACE grant increased retention by 17% and graduation of low-income students by 32%.
Sylvia said, “Our only hope is that students who benefit from our contribution do their best.”