Photo courtesy Brown Foundations
Brown Scholars Become Alumni Who Influence and Serve
Nov. 1, 2021

Thomas R. Brown, his wife and a friend formed Burr Brown Research Corporation in 1956to build a better world through electronics made with transistors. The company was sold to Texas Instruments in 2000, but this spirit of service continues today through the work of the Brown Foundations. The Foundations support faculty chairs, outreach programs and research at the University of Arizona, and students are major beneficiaries.

The Gerald J. Swanson Scholarship for Undergraduate Excellence in Economics was recently established by the Brown Foundations and has just recognized the first scholarship recipients. Professor Swanson was a colleague and good friend to Tom Brown and nothing short of a legend at UArizona. The Brown Foundations support the BIO5 Institute’s KEYS Research Internship for high-performing high school students interested in STEM. About 75% of KEYS alumni attend college in Arizona, with the majority choosing UArizona.

The Brown Foundations have the single largest individual named endowment to benefit the Arizona Assurance scholarship. This program provides financial, academic and personal support to first-generation college students. It has been a great success—these students out perform the general student body in both GPA and graduation rate.

“If not for Arizona Assurance, I wouldn’t have a degree, and I would probably be stuck at a job, rather than pursuing a career,” says Morgan Larson ’14 ’15, who had a job waiting for her at the accounting firm EY when she graduated.

The Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Scholarships in the College of Engineering and Eller College of Management support the highest-achieving students and have helped hundreds attain their academic and professional goals. Three alumni who were Brown Scholars share pieces of their ongoing Wildcat Journeys, starting with a member of the first class.



Photo Courtesy of Alumni

"I get to work on projects with a diverse team in Europe and Asia and South America every day.”
The  Brown  Foundations’  support  gave  Condon  the  time  and freedom to earn a double major in mechanical engineering and business administration. Now, he pays it forward as a UArizona donor.

“I think about the impact scholarships had on me and allowing me to fully dedicate myself to academic pursuits and interests. As I’ve been able, I’ve contributed to the university and tried to make use of my company’s matching program.”

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, B.S. Business Administration
Global Talent Management and Contractor Services Manager for Exxon Mobil, Houston area


I work with pediatricians across Colorado. It’s an innovative type of network where we collaborate and share data. The projects can vary — just anything that improves pediatric lives and helps our primary care providers.”

As  a  Brown  MBA  Scholar, Siebert  earned  to  turn  large  amounts  of  data  into  accessible  presentations. She now uses  this skill in the career that has become a calling.

“I wanted to find a mission I really believe in. I think the people I work with have the same passion. We’re all there because we want to help people.”

Project Manager, Pediatric Care Network at the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver


Photo Courtesy of the Alumni



Image Courtesy of the Alumni

“It’s really such an incredible experience to be able to study things that are interesting and we don’t have answers to. You’re always at the cutting edge of figuring out how the world works. We’re facing a lot of environmental problems, so how can we understand what’s happening and make changes to create a more sustainable future?”

For Wilkening, who grew up in Tucson, the time she spent at  UArizona  gave  her  a  deeper  understanding  of  the  state’s  challenges.

“My graduate research is hydrology focused. I think about the Western U.S. a lot, and the ways I could potentially play a role in its future.” 

B.S. Chemical Engineering
Doctoral Student  in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley
—Katy Smith