“Do all the good you can” was more than just a motto for philanthropist Bruce M. Brown. It was a way of life and, according to his family, a constant piece of advice he would share with others. A friend of ACTA and longtime trustee, Mr. Brown passed away on December 18, 2020.

Born in 1947 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Bruce Brown received a B.A. in government from Lawrence University and an M.A. in political science from the University of Kentucky in 1973.

Following his retirement in 1993 from vice president for charitable trusts at CoreStates Bank (now Wells Fargo), he devoted most of his time to charitable boards and foundations. He founded his own philanthropy consultancy, the Houston Brown Eldredge Foundation, and was a founding member on the board of directors for the Delaware Valley Grantmakers. He served as vice chairman of the Delaware Valley Community Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Hoxie Harrison Smith Foundation and the Malvern Federal Savings Bank Foundation, as well as on the executive leadership council of the Capstone Legacy Foundation.  

A proponent of academic excellence and expanding college opportunity, he served on the board of trustees at Lawrence University and at Eastern University. He was also a member of the Parents’ Executive Committee at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the advisory board of the Center for Community Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Neumann University.

ACTA had the pleasure of collaborating with Mr. Brown for the first time in 2013. He worked with us to host “Envisioning the Future of Higher Education,” a seminar that explored the fundamental questions about the leadership roles of trustees in safeguarding academic excellence and improving affordability. In 2018, he shared his wealth of insight on college governance in ACTA’s trustee video series.

We were inspired by his commitment to excellence in higher education and his relentless passion for uplifting others. He will be greatly missed. 


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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