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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation endowment

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation funds $1 million scholarship endowment

Endowment for Eller College of Management MBA students builds on entrepreneur’s legacy

TUCSON, Ariz. – March 03, 2006 – “Think globally, act locally” are words that would ring true to the late Thomas R. Brown. His life and work were based in Tucson, but his vision was much broader.

Building on the legacy of the Tucson, Ariz. entrepreneur, the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation has agreed to fund a $1 million endowment at The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. The purpose of the endowment is to provide scholarships to MBA students who are pursuing a career path in technology and management. Preference will be given to students with an engineering or science undergraduate degree, and the first awards will be made to graduate students entering in the fall of 2006.

“The endowment ensures the continued legacy of my father,” said Sarah Brown Smallhouse, foundation trustee, daughter of the late benefactor, and graduate of the Eller MBA program. “He had a desire to encourage young people, and supported education and training to enhance the ability of individuals to reach their potential.”

Since 2002, the Brown family has been making annual gifts of $50,000 to fund scholarships for students focusing on technology and innovation. The recent endowment will ensure a permanent commitment to Brown’s vision to integrate technology and business education.

Rose Kananu, an Eller MBA student from Kenya and a Brown Scholarship recipient, expressed her gratitude for the opportunities the money provided. “It is a privilege to have the flexibility the scholarship provides for me,” she said. “After working in my undergraduate field of civil engineering for three years, I began to recognize the need for business education in order to further my career and my aspirations to help my country develop. Brown’s idea of integrating technology with business know-how certainly applies to me.”

When Kananu finishes her degree in 2007, she plans to return to Kenya and use her MBA to start her own business providing educational and/or venture capital opportunities to entrepreneurs and other business people.

Brown was one of Tucson’s most successful businessmen. He attended MIT and Harvard, where he earned a general engineering degree and an MBA, respectively. After serving in the Navy in World War II, he moved to Tucson where he co-founded Burr-Brown Research Corporation with Page Burr in 1956. Several years later, he bought Burr’s interest in the company and focused the rest of his career building the company they had started. In 2000, it was sold to Texas Instruments for the highest price ever paid for an Arizona company.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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