Jeffrey J. “JB” Brown ’95 and Sara M. Brown ’98 are laying the foundation for the future of Clemson University through a gift of $2.5 million in support of scholarships, the Clemson Experience for students, inclusive excellence and The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.
The gift establishes the Brown family as the latest Academic Cornerstone Partners for Clemson University.
The Browns’ Academic Cornerstone gift is their family’s most recent contribution of their time, talent and treasure.
Says JB: “It’s our honor to be able to give back to our University that is developing the next generation of great leaders under the stewardship of President Clements and the Board of Trustees.”
Their Cornerstone gift supports the areas that the family is most passionate about, including:
* $1 million for presidential scholarship in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.
* $1 million for Clemson’s new Alumni and Visitors Center.
* $250,000 for ClemsonLIFE.
* $150,000 for the Power of One campaign challenge.
* $100,000 for Inclusive Excellence.
Both Clemson graduates, JB graduated in 1995 with a degree in economics, and Sara graduated in 1998 with a degree in early childhood education. They have given financially every year since graduating, and as their resources have grown, so has their desire to give more.
“Through JB and Sara’s continued commitment to Clemson, they are positively impacting the lives of our students and are laying the foundation to support the next generation of leaders,” says James P. Clements, Clemson University president. “JB and Sara’s dedication to the Clemson Family is inspiring and I am grateful for their generosity and leadership across the university.”
Before becoming Clemson’s latest Academic Cornerstone Partners, the Brown family gave to Clemson by establishing the Brown Family Scholarship Endowment, supporting the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business as well as the Provost’s Excellence Fund and several other scholarship endowments.
During Clemson’s annual Give Day in 2019, the family gave $250,000 toward the new building and scholarships in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, as well as scholarships in the College of Education.
As a student, JB was president of the Student Alumni Council, a member of Blue Key and also active in Greek life.
JB serves on the Clemson University Foundation (CUF) Board, which he describes as “A part of my great fortune that I get to give back in serving.”
Through his service on the CUF Board of Directors, JB supports Clemson University by promoting growth and stewardship of resources entrusted to the University, thus fulfilling covenants with donors.
JB also serves on the President’s Advisory Board (PAB) alongside current and retired business leaders, presidents and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
As supporters of Clemson University, JB and his fellow PAB members advise Clements on campuswide and national matters that directly and indirectly affect students, faculty and staff at Clemson, in higher education and beyond.
He has also served on the Trevillian Cabinet of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.
Additionally, JB has given of his time as a speaker at Clemson University’s Men of Color National Summit.
He joined Clemson and leaders in government, business, academia, sports and entertainment to emphasize the importance of education while helping to establish a sustainable, diverse pipeline of qualified candidates entering the workforce.
JB grew up in Columbus, Ohio, the youngest in a family of four children.
JB and Sara Brown met as students at Clemson. The couple married in 2000 and have three children: Cameron, Grace and Jack.
JB and Sara also have immediate Clemson Family, with Sara’s sister, Britta, and her husband, Mark, also being 1995 graduates and alumni.
JB has spent most of his career in the banking industry, which began when he and Sara moved to Charlotte and he worked for NationsBank. That was a steppingstone to a position at Bank of America.
JB’s tenure at Bank of America began as an analyst in 1998, and within 10 years, he was appointed corporate treasurer.
In 2009, Brown was hired as corporate treasurer at Ally Financial Inc. and eventually became the company CEO.
Because of his impact on the industry, American Banker recognized him as Banker of the Year for 2022.