At Ƶ, former President Howard Brown’s name symbolizes growth.  In his four years as president of the college (1985-1989), he established a permanent location for the college
and put many other plans into action.

Along with the College, Brown and his team had a huge vision for the Foundation. Dr. Howard E. Brown’s vision came true over the next 2 years when volunteers raised $2 million for students through charitable gifts. Today, the Foundation manages over $19M in assets.

To honor Brown’s vision and celebrate Ƶ’s 50th Anniversary, the Ƶ Foundation is announcing the Howard Brown Society with a goal of increasing philanthropic revenues by supporting operational needs, student success, and capital priorities. The Foundation has set a goal of inducting 50 inaugural members into the Howard Brown Society. By reaching this goal, we aim to continue the growth that President Brown symbolized when he led Ƶ.

Join the Society

Membership begins with an annual gift of $5,000 or a $10,000 endowed pledge paid over a two-year period. Lifetime members of the society will be inducted upon achieving a distinguished cumulative giving level of $50,000 or more. The Ƶ Foundation has established the following priorities, but members have the flexibility to designate their gift to the fund of their choice.

  • Operational Needs | Support Ƶ students by providing resources to educate and train tomorrow’s workforce. Contributions to the Howard Brown Society are the most impactful gifts to the Foundation
    because they directly provide resources for the greatest pressing needs of our students.
  • Student Assistance Fund | Support students facing exceptional financial hardship through the Student Assistance Fund. With a focus on removing barriers that impact our students’ ability to persist and complete their education at Ƶ, we believe our Student Assistance Fund is a huge asset to our most determined students.
  • Investing in the Future Scholarship | Your gift to the Investing in the Future Scholarship provides tuition, books and/or fees for Ƶ students who come to the Foundation with a variety of situations and unique circumstances that prevent them from receiving State and Federal aid or one of our traditional scholarships.
  • Named Restricted or Endowed Scholarship | Designate your gift to establish a restricted or endowed named scholarship, establishing criteria that aligns with your interests and priorities. Scholarships are awarded for fall, spring and summer semesters and remove financial barriers to ensure our students have equal access to receiving a quality education.
  • Capital Projects | Support students by enhancing facilities to better position our programs and students for success. Capital gifts may build new facilities, provide state of the art technology and equipment, or enhance our classroom and campus spaces. Campus capital priorities will be identified in the Master Plan.

Your gift will continue the vision of former President Howard E. Brown and change the lives of generations of Ƶ students for years to come.

For more information about the Howard Brown Society, please contact The Ƶ Foundation at or by phone at 217.875.7211 ext. 6350.

Inaugural Members

We are excited to announce the inaugural members of the Howard Brown Society at our Annual Awards & Celebration on Thursday, July 25, 2024!

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