Yvonne and Stephen Brown (’68) share a rich history with Florida State University. First meeting during Stephen’s junior year, the couple have gone on to support the university not only through charitable endeavors but giving their time to leadership councils, university boards and even as faculty.
Much of their work stems from the shared belief that every student should have an equal opportunity to succeed in college regardless of circumstance. “Giving to students who want the opportunity to better themselves and have the need is an investment in the future of America,” Yvonne shared on the couple’s behalf.
Inspired by this notion, Yvonne and Stephen recently established the Yvonne and Stephen T. Brown 1st Generation Scholarship for Unconquered Scholars, pledging $50,000 to support two full scholarships annually for arts and sciences or health and human sciences students participating in the Unconquered Scholars Program.
For them, the decision to create such a scholarship was an easy one.
“In our humble opinion, helping students who want to better themselves through education—and ultimately a college degree—and who may come from a fractured or non-existent home support system is a ‘no-brainer,’” Yvonne expressed. “Every Unconquered Scholar who graduates has a substantially greater opportunity to make something of themself that they might not have had otherwise.”
Since its inception in 2012, the Unconquered Scholars Program at Florida State has offered an array of support services promoting overall success to youth who experienced foster care, homelessness, relative care or ward of the State status. The Browns hope this gift will help more people become familiar with the program’s mission to provide FSU students guidance, continual mentorship, advocacy, security and a voice to ensure their academic success and long-term independence.
“Generating awareness of Unconquered Scholars and its students ultimately generates further support, allowing us to bring in and assist more students [through the program],” Yvonne said. “We would be delighted for FSU to be seen as best in the nation for Unconquered Scholars.”
“Scholarships, like the Browns’, ensure students can thoroughly focus in the classroom without the stress of wondering how they’re going to afford a top-rated education,” Senior Program Director of the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement Lisa Jackson shared. “I’m thankful to have Yvonne and Stephen champion our current and future Unconquered Scholars.”
Currently, Yvonne serves on the Undergraduate Studies Development Council and was recently reappointed to the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees after prior terms of service from 2005-2014. Stephen continues to serve as an adjunct professor with the College of Law and a Leadership Council member for the College of Arts and Sciences. From academics to athletics, the Browns’ time and investment in Florida State continue to impact all corners of the university and its students.
Learn more about supporting the Unconquered Scholars Program online.