Brown President Emeritus Gregorian dies at 87

PROVIDENCE – Vartan Gregorian, who served as Brown University’s president from 1989 through 1997, died April 15 at age 87, the university announced.

During his time as Brown’s president, Gregorian oversaw the establishment of 11 new academic departments, Brown said, and several multidisciplinary centers. Areas the centers served include public service and support for historically underrepresented groups. Gregorian also hired 270 new faculty members at Brown and was responsible for the endowment of 90 professorships, the university said.

Gregorian also oversaw the five-year Campaign for the Rising Generation, Brown said. The campaign brought in $543 million to the university, which at the time was the most the university had raised in a single campaign. He also more than doubled Brown’s endowment to $1 billion, the university said.

In announcing his death, Brown University President Christina H. Paxson said that Gregorian’s impact and legacy are evident through his commitment to strengthening the university’s academic experience, embracing the diversity and furthering Brown’s role in preparing students to be responsible and informed global citizens.

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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