Making History

Making History

This fall, Eddie C. Brown (B.S.E.E. ’61) and C. Sylvia Brown (B.S. ’62) contributed $5 million to the Grace Grant program. The GRACE Grant was established by President Frederick in 2014 to support students with the greatest financial need are able to stay in school and graduate on time. As the largest alumni gift in school history, the Brown’s gift will allow countless Howard students to make it to the finish line and graduate.

The Browns met on Howard University’s campus in 1957. Eddie came to Howard from Allentown, Pennsylvania at just 16 years old to study engineering, and Sylvia came to Howard from King William, Virginia as a student in what was then the College of Liberal Arts. Eddie’s journey to Howard was made possible because of a caring teacher and anonymous “angel” donor. When discussing their gift, Eddie says, “I was blessed to receive my college education debt free, and I think it’s important to offer those less fortunate the opportunity to do so as well.”     

The Brown’s generous gift will do just that. For students who receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant and have little or no family support, the GRACE grant removes the financial burden so they can focus on their studies. And, it’s working! The average four-year graduation rate for GRACE recipients improved to 78%, that’s 32% higher compared to students in the same financial category who did not receive GRACE funds.

We could not be more grateful to the Browns for their extraordinary generosity. To learn more about Eddie and Sylvia Brown and the GRACE grant, watch this video.


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