For Stuart Brown, AB ’77, BS ’77, a top-tier Washington University education afforded him various opportunities for growth as an undergraduate, as well as an enduring support system that has remained strong, even after 40 years. Through regular giving, Brown—who has given consecutively for the last nine years—looks to give back to the university that has given so much to him.
First, would you mind briefly sharing a bit about what you have been up to since graduating from Washington University?
The past 40 years have been full. After Washington University, I travelled west to Stanford where I earned a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. After two years working for an engineering consulting firm, I moved east to pursue my PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT. I then joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. I left MIT in 1995 to become the director of the Boston office of Exponent, a scientific and engineering consulting firm. During that time I married my wife who was in medical training and who subsequently became a child and adolescent psychiatrist, currently working at Cambridge Hospital. We have two daughters, one who just finished college and another who is starting this fall.
I left Exponent in 2005 to start Veryst Engineering, a high-end engineering consulting firm in the Boston area, using testing and simulation to help clients in product development. I consider myself fortunate to enjoy coming to work every day.
What inspired you to make your first gift to Washington University?
I owe WashU so much. The university enabled me to pursue my education on a Langsdorf scholarship. The university also offered opportunities to work abroad, participate in student government, and form strong and lasting friendships. I also received support from faculty and the administration, including Chancellor Danforth, to whom I offer tremendous gratitude.
Why do you think it is important for alumni to give to Washington University year after year?
I think that we can accumulate value to the school by regular giving, achieving a greater effect than by occasional donations.
Looking back on your time at WashU, what is one of your favorite memories?
There’s no question that the friendships formed are one of my strongest memories. It’s striking that they are still so strong after 40 years.
Are you involved/connected with Washington University in other ways? If so, how?
I participate in the Reunion effort and also encourage local high school students to consider WashU [through the Alumni & Parents Admission Program].
What is your favorite spot on campus or in St. Louis?
One of my favorite spots was Holmes Lounge. At the time, it was a noisy and comfortable place to relax with a cup of coffee.