$2 million gift creates first eminent scholar chair in Auburn's College of Sciences and Mathematics

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A $2 million gift from John and Rosemary Brown, both 1957 graduates, has created the first eminent scholar chair in Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics.

The Browns established the endowed chair in the college's Department of Mathematics and Statistics to help recruit and recognize a top scholar in any of the department's foundational areas of mathematics, including algebra, differential equations, geometry and analysis.

The new chair holder will be known as the Rosemary Kopel Brown Chair in Mathematics. Rosemary Brown graduated from Auburn with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and received her Master of Education from Rutgers University. Her 30-year career as a math teacher ultimately led the Browns to make this commitment.

The gift is part of the Browns' historic $57 million philanthropic investment—the largest gift in university history—made in support of Because This is Auburn—A Campaign for Auburn University.

"As a retired math teacher, one of my greatest joys is hearing from my former students about how education has made a difference in their professional careers. I am honored we are able to create this endowment to support an outstanding math faculty member who will affect the lives of countless Auburn students during the course of their math education," said Rosemary Brown.

Eminent scholar chairs help enhance faculty salaries and provide crucial additional support for such things as research costs, laboratory equipment and assistance from graduate students.

Nick Giordano, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, said the Browns' gift will allow the college to bring a new distinguished scholar to Auburn who will help engage and retain additional accomplished faculty members and talented graduate students.

"This chair will enable us to offer new opportunities in the way of courses and research to our undergraduates and expose them to extraordinary faculty in their classes," he said. "The ability to hire and recognize exceptional faculty will help us take the mathematics program to the next level and gain recognition nationally and internationally."

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