Statement from President Amy Gutmann and Board Chair David Cohen on the Death of Christopher H. Browne.

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Media Contact: | | December 16, 2009

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the death Sunday of Charter Trustee and SAS Board Chair Emeritus Christopher H. Browne (C'69).

Beginning with his days as an undergraduate history major, Chris was actively engaged with the University for more than 40 years. In all of his involvements, Chris brought an unwavering commitment to Penn and a wide-ranging mix of personal, academic and professional interests. As trustees, we will deeply miss his friendship, insights and his wonderful sense of humor. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family and friends, and especially his partner, Andrew S. Gordon (C'83).

First elected as a member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences in 1982, Chris was named chairman of the board in 1999 and held that position for a decade. He was then appointed Chair Emeritus. He was honored with the SAS Dean's Medal in March, 2009. Chris became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1991 and a charter trustee in 2001. During his 18 years as a trustee, Chris impacted Penn through service on a wide range of Trustee committees, including the Executive, Academic Policy, Budget and Finance, Compensation, and Facilities and Campus Planning Committees; the Investment Board and the Proxy Subcommittee. Chris also served as a Co-chair of Penn's Making History Campaign. He was president of the Penn Club of New York and a member of the Board of Directors of Penn Alumni, where he served on the Nominations and Programming Committees.

Chris also will long be remembered for his extraordinary generosity to Penn. While his professional focus was in finance, his passion for the liberal arts guided his philanthropy. In 2007, he made a gift of $15 million to the School of Arts and Sciences - the largest single gift ever made to SAS - to fund five highly prestigious professorships. This magnificent commitment followed a $10 million gift from Chris to SAS in 2000, also to endow five professorships. Chris created these chairs, known as the Browne Distinguished Professorships, to embody his firm belief that academic distinction should be defined by exceptional research, superior teaching, and a dedication to making Penn a leading forum for open dialogue. It is highly fitting that his name will be forever linked with some of Penn's finest scholar-teachers.

Chris' other leadership gifts to Penn included naming the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics in SAS, establishing the Christopher H. Browne Trustee Scholarship, and making a generous contribution for the construction of the Carolyn Lynch Laboratory.

Chris spent his entire career at the private investment firm of Tweedy, Browne Company, where he was a managing director and a member of the firm's management committee. He also served as president of the Tweedy, Browne Funds, a mutual funds group, and was a general partner in TKB Partners and Vanderbilt Partners. A frequent speaker on behavioral psychology and financial decision-making, he served on the faculty of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government's program in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance. In 2006, he authored "The Little Book of Value
Investing."

A true renaissance man, with the keenest wit and deepest dedication to great debate, Chris devoted himself to a host of causes and hobbies. Chris was an amateur architect and landscape architect. He was a member of the Council on The National Trust for Historic Preservation and served on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Classical Architecture, where he spoke on "The Client's Perspective on Designing a Country House and Garden." In 2000, he acquired an extensive collection of more than 2,000 volumes of rare and out-of-print books on architecture, furniture, and the decorative arts. He was also a trustee at The Rockefeller University, where he served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Development Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee. At Rockefeller, he established the Christopher H. Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases in 1997. He was a member of the New York City Council of the Brookings Institution, a board member of the Paley Center for Media in New York, and a trustee of the Long Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and of Guild Hall, a regional arts and education center in East Hampton, New York.

A memorial service for Chris will be held on campus in February. The Rockefeller University is also planning a memorial in New York in late winter. Further information on both services will be provided.

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