Alumni of the Corporation
Despite the differences among them, the BAM 100 share one thing: all spent years sitting in classrooms learning from Brown faculty and making the campus their home. Some of them have gone on to become alumni fellows and trustees of the Corporation; as such they helped shape the identity of Brown as an institution. And institutions—from the federal government to Microsoft—have had their own powerful impact on the history of the twentieth century.
President Henry Wriston once famously described the requirements for Corporation membership as “work, wealth, and wisdom, preferably all three, but at least two of the three.” The Corporation, which now consists of twelve fellows and forty-two trustees, acts as the University’s board of directors, reviewing major policy decisions, keeping an eye on the pocketbook, and choosing presidents. Leading its members during the twentieth century were Brown’s presidents and a string of ten chancellors, from Colonel William Goddard of the class of 1846 through the more recent Charles Tillinghast Jr. ’32, Richard Salomon ’32, Alva O. Way ’51, Artemis A.W. Joukowsky ’55, and Stephen Robert ’62.
The Corporation underwent profound change during the last 100 years. One third of trustees are now alumni nominated by the Brown Alumni Association, and although the first female, Jewish, and black alumni fellows were not appointed until 1969, the Corporation enters the new century with more racial, ethnic, and gender diversity than ever before.
The history of the last century will be forever scarred by its wars. Measured in patriotic gore it was the bloodiest hundred years in human history. Brown men and women responded to their government’s call to fight, and many of them died. From the death of Sergeant Florence J. Price ’06 in May 1916 to the recovery in Vietnam of the remains of Captain John B. Sherman ’62 in June 1998, alumni felt the effects of battle. Hundreds died and many more served—almost 2,000 in World War I alone—taking on a role in the century’s most tragic events.
In memory of those who died the Soldiers Memorial Gate bears an inscription from Emerson: “ ’Tis man’s perdition to be safe/When for the truth he ought to die.” Another view was offered on April 6, 1921, at the gate’s dedication. An emotional President William H.P. Faunce promised: “These are our honored dead, who cannot die.” At the beginning of the twenty-first century they are still remembered.
The money and time Art Joukowsky has given to Brown over the last twenty years have been crucial in everything from helping students afford a College Hill education to picking presidents. But more than his own generosity, Joukowsky likes to see himself as representing all the volunteers and donors who have given hours and cash to the University. As trustee, chancellor, and the head of the most successful fund-raising campaign in Brown’s history, Joukowsky has raised the bar for committed volunteers throughout higher education. It’s no wonder that he was chosen by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges to receive its Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship earlier this year.
As an archaeologist Martha Joukowsky has turned the Great Temple of Petra, Jordan, into a great Brown classroom. Every summer she takes a group of undergraduate and graduate students to the site and sets them digging into the massive project she has been doggedly pursuing since 1993: uncovering the ruins of the Great Temple from the sands. Built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe whose civilization lasted from 200 B.C. to 100 A.D., the ruins of Petra have revealed to Joukowsky and her students the shape of a civilization about which precious little was known.
Working nearby every summer, taking perhaps a thousand photographs of the artifacts and ruins the young archaeologists have uncovered, is a familiar volunteer: Artemis Joukowsky, the excavation’s pro bono photographer.