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December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16

Mr. Browne, Trustee and Overseer

Browne, Christopher

Christopher H. Browne (C’69), Charter Trustee and SAS Board Chair Emeritus, passed away December 13, at the age of 62.

Beginning with his days as an undergraduate history major, Mr. Browne was actively engaged with the University for more than 40 years. In all of his involvements, Mr. Browne brought an unwavering commitment to Penn and a wide-ranging mix of personal, academic and professional interests.

First elected as a member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences in 1982, Mr. Browne was named chairman of the board in 1999 and held that position for a decade. He was then appointed Chair Emeritus. He was honored with the SAS Dean’s Medal in March 2009. Mr. Browne became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1991 and a charter trustee in 2001. During his 18 years as a trustee, Mr. Browne impacted Penn through service on a wide range of Trustee committees, including the Executive, Academic Policy, Budget and Finance, Compensation, and Facilities and Campus Planning Committees; the Investment Board and the Proxy Subcommittee. Mr. Browne also served as a co-chair of Penn’s Making History Campaign. He was president of the Penn Club of New York and a member of the Board of Directors of Penn Alumni, where he served on the Nominations and Programming Committees.

Mr. Browne also will be remembered for his generosity to Penn. In 2007, he made a gift of $15 million to the School of Arts and Sciences—the largest single gift ever made to SAS—to fund five prestigious professorships. This commitment followed a $10 million gift from Mr. Browne to SAS in 2000, also to endow five professorships. Mr. Browne created these chairs, known as the Browne Distinguished Professorships, to embody his firm belief that academic distinction should be defined by exceptional research, superior teaching, and a dedication to making Penn a leading forum for open dialogue.

Mr. Browne’s other leadership gifts to Penn included naming the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics in SAS, establishing the Christopher H. Browne Trustee Scholarship, and making a generous contribution for the construction of the Carolyn Lynch Laboratory.

Mr. Browne spent his entire career at the private investment firm of Tweedy, Browne Company LLC, where he was a managing director and a member of the firm’s management committee. He also served as president of the Tweedy, Browne Funds, a mutual funds group, and was a general partner in TKB Partners and Vanderbilt Partners. A frequent speaker on behavioral psychology and financial decision-making, he served on the faculty of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s program in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance. In 2006, he authored The Little Book of Value Investing.

Mr. Browne devoted himself to a host of causes and hobbies. He was an amateur architect and landscape architect. He was a member of the Council on The National Trust for Historic Preservation and served on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Classical Architecture, where he spoke on “The Client’s Perspective on Designing a Country House and Garden.” In 2000, he acquired an extensive collection of more than 2,000 volumes of rare and out-of-print books on architecture, furniture, and the decorative arts. He was also a trustee at The Rockefeller University, where he served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Development Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee. At Rockefeller, he established the Christopher H. Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases in 1997. He was a member of the New York City Council of the Brookings Institution, a board member of the Paley Center for Media in New York, and a trustee of the Long Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and of Guild Hall, a regional arts and education center in East Hampton, New York.

Mr. Browne is survived by his partner, Andrew S. Gordon (C’83).

A memorial service for Mr. Browne will be held on campus in February. The Rockefeller University is also planning a memorial in New York in late winter. Further information will be published in Almanac.

A Celebration of the Life of Christopher H. Browne

The University community is invited to celebrate the life of Charter Trustee and SAS Overseer Board Chair Emeritus Christopher H. Browne, who passed away on December 13, 2009 (Almanac December 22, 2009). The event will be held on Thursday, February 25, at 4:30 p.m., in College Hall, room 200. For more information or to RSVP, e-mail ofcsec@pobox.upenn.edu. (Added 2/23/10)



To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.


Almanac - December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16