Dec. 13, 2002
When Gordon Perry '55 and Elizabeth Chace '59 took leadership roles with the Brown Sports Foundation nine years ago as president and vice president, they ushered in an era of unprecedented fundraising success on behalf of Brown Athletics.
In the last eight years, the BUSF endowment has more than doubled to its current level of $45 million. In addition, the BUSF has more than doubled its annual use fundraising from less than $1 million to more than $2.5 million each year.
Perry, whose two sons Bill '88 and Scott '91 played football at Brown, was also President of the Brown Football Association for seven years before taking on the leadership of the Sports Foundation. He has been an instrumental player in the resurgence of Brown athletics throughout the 90's.
"It has been extremely rewarding to watch our athletic program evolve to the point where we received national recognition from US News & World Report last year," said Perry. "This never could have happened without the incredible support and generosity of our Directors and that of thousands of donors around the country."
Chace was particularly instrumental in bringing increased support to Brown's female student-athletes by organizing and recruiting participants for a Women's Athletics Focus Group of the BUSF Board. As a part of this effort, she began the Brown Women's Athletics Golf Outing that has raised nearly $150,000 since its inception in 1994.
"I am so pleased to see the outstanding women we have been able to recruit to the Sports Foundation Board. Gordon was a great partner in this effort," said Chace. "It is really satisfying for me to see a new generation of leaders stepping forward for the Sports Foundation." "Gordon and Liz have been incredibly supportive of this organization and me personally. You simply couldn't ask for better leadership," said Executive Director Ron Dalgliesh '91. "They have built a lasting legacy of support for Brown's student-athletes." With the Sports Foundation on solid footing, both Perry and Chace stepped down from their leadership roles at the September 28th Board of Directors meeting. At the same time, the Board elected Ken O'Keefe '76 as President and Paula Murray McNamara '84 as Vice President of the Sports Foundation.
"Gordon and Liz really took this organization to new heights," said O'Keefe. "They both did a spectacular job at a time when Brown athletics needed a boost from its alumni. I also can't say enough about the job that Dave Zucconi '55 did as executive director for so many years. He was the backbone of the organization."
A football and baseball player at Brown, O'Keefe graduated in 1976 with a degree in Economics. After several years in the investment banking industry, Ken went on to have a very successful career in the radio and communications business. O'Keefe retired from his post as President & COO of Clear Channel Radio, the largest radio group in the world, in June 2001. He is currently the Executive Vice President for the Eastern region of Infinity Broadcasting. A long-time volunteer at Brown, O'Keefe has been active in a variety of roles, most recently co-chairing his 25th reunion.
With almost 4,000 donors across the country last year, the Sports Foundation plays a key role in supporting Brown's coaches and student-athletes. "The Sports Foundation is a great vehicle to connect with alumni," said O'Keefe.
"Athletics was a big part of my life at Brown and this is a great opportunity to give back to the university," continued O'Keefe. "The timing is right for me to take a more active role with my daughter, Kim '02, graduating last year and my daughter, Kristen '04, a junior at Brown."
Paula Murray McNamara '84, an Art History concentrator at Brown, has been a long-time officer and member of the Sports Foundation Executive Committee, and is currently a Director with Fidelity Investments. She co-chaired the Women's Athletic Focus Group with Liz and last year she co-chaired the Board's new "Drive for Five" effort that is aimed at increasing the number of leadership donors to Brown athletics. Under McNamara's leadership there was a 26% increase last year in donors at the $5,000+ level. McNamara recently served on the Brown Medical School Campaign Steering Committee and is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Lincoln School.
"I am honored and excited to take on this increased leadership role for the Sports Foundation," said McNamara. "Gordon and Liz have set a great example of leadership. Ken and I look forward to building on their success."