Ashland, VA -- Randolph-Macon College has received the largest individual gift in
its history, a $4.3 million bequest from the estate of Frank E. Brown of Richmond,
"Mr. Brown’s gift is a wonderful testament to the power of philanthropy," said Roger
Martin, president of the college. “His gift will provide Randolph-Macon with new
resources to support the good work of Randolph-Macon, which will benefit our students
for generations to come. The college is deeply grateful for this significant bequest.”
In accordance with this bequest, the college will raise a like sum to be used for
Randolph-Macon’s most pressing needs. Recently, the college trustees approved the
use of $400,000 as a matching challenge to encourage support of the renovation of
Crenshaw Gymnasium, a $2.6 million project currently underway. The remainder of
the bequest will be used to match new endowment gifts for student scholarships.
A native of Rocky Mount, N.C., Brown moved to Richmond in 1908 and joined the Manchester
Board and Paper Company. There he rose through the ranks and was president of Manchester
when it was purchased by Federal Paper Board Company in 1960. Brown remained a director
of Federal and acted as a consultant for the company for many years. The company
later was acquired by Caraustar Industries and was renamed Richmond Paperboard Corporation.
Although Brown did not receive a college education, he became involved in Randolph-Macon
College through his friendship with the late United Methodist Church Bishop Walter
C. Gum. In 1955, Brown became a member of R-MC’s Board of Trustees and served as
the chairman of the executive committee from 1966 until his death in 1976.
Frank Brown was one of Randolph-Macon most outstanding philanthropists. In 1976,
he provided a $375,000 gift for the construction of the Brown Campus Center and
in 1970, he gave $50,000 to build the Brown Fountain Plaza. In 1973, he established
a $200,000 trust to provide a tuition assistance loan fund for students and in 1957,
he created the R-MC Improvement Fund, which allowed the college to renovate Old
Duncan Memorial Church into a fine arts studio and music room, revamp Old Chapel
into the Kern Center, and fund various faculty summer research trips.
In addition to his generosity toward Randolph-Macon, Brown made numerous gifts to
other institutions, to include Richmond Memorial Hospital, Sheltering Arms Hospital,
Virginia Wesleyan College and North Carolina Wesleyan College. Also, in 1966, he
established a United Methodist Church camp on “Westview on the James,” a 780-acre
piece of property in Goochland. The effort was led by A. Purnell Bailey and Robert
T. Casey, a local pastor. Brown also gave funds to create a lake and dining hall
at Camp Kiwanis in Hanover County.