Brown University has marked a set of major milestones in its effort to expand support for U.S. military veterans: welcoming its largest-ever cohort of new undergraduate student veterans; doubling the total enrollment of those students one year ahead of schedule; and surpassing an ambitious $25 million fundraising goal to permanently fund full scholarships for current and future generations of undergraduate student veterans.
The success stems from a sweeping initiative launched on Veterans Day in November 2019, which expanded recruiting efforts, increased financial support and removed barriers to enable more military veterans to achieve a Brown undergraduate education.
“Turning Brown into an affordable choice and a supportive educational environment for a broader segment of our nation’s extraordinary, courageous veterans not only honors their service, but also enhances the education of all Brown students who benefit from veterans’ perspectives and experiences,” said Brown University President Christina H. Paxson. “The generous donors who supported the veterans initiative truly understand the importance of building a robust financial aid program and boosting support for U.S. military veterans, who are leaders in our community and the nation.”
Notable among those donors is Joseph P. Healey, who made a transformational gift in 2020 to help propel Brown toward successfully raising $25 million in endowment, which now ensures the ability to admit student veterans through a need-blind admissions process and offer full financial support on a long-term basis. Healey is a U.S. Army veteran with strong family ties to Brown, and co-founder of the investment management firm HealthCor.
As he reflected on the significance of achieving the veterans initiative goals, he was reminded of his personal journey growing up in a low-income, single-parent household in Rhode Island, and the ways that his military service and access to affordable, quality education changed the course of his life.
“The affordability and accessibility are critical, and so is the holistic support student veterans receive at Brown so they can thrive and succeed while they’re here,” Healey said. “When I think of all the great work Brown has done to promote student diversity, I think student veterans are an important piece of that — they add a different perspective and other students will learn from them.
“As a patriot, I can’t think of a better cause to support,” said Healey, who lives in Narragansett.