University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

$1 Million Gift to the Honors College

Robert Brennan
Robert Brennan '83, photo by Jeff Clarke

Alumni Connection /

$1 Million Gift to the Honors College

Alumni Robert “Rob” Brennan ’83 and his wife, Carolyn Brennan ’82, have pledged $1 million to build on the success of the university’s Honors College and add to their prior giving for the same purpose.

Half of the funds will be added to the Brennan Family Scholarship Fund they established in 2006, providing scholarship support for Honors College students. Since inception, the fund has awarded a total of $77,500 to five students.

The other half of the gift will establish the Brennan Summer Research Fellowship, funding grants of up to $5,000 annually to enable Honors College students to pursue undergraduate research during the summer.

“Our sincere thanks to Rob and Carolyn and their family for this wonderful commitment to our students,” said Abu Rizvi, dean of the Honors College. “We’re very excited by what this gift will do to bring excellent students to UVM and to support and challenge them while they’re here. Visionary philanthropy such as this is central to our main mission of attracting the best students and helping them do their best work.”

Brennan is senior managing director of Guggenheim Partners, based in New York City. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Vermont Foundation and the UVM Board of Trustees.

“Carolyn and I are happy to be able to celebrate and support academic excellence at UVM,” Rob Brennan said. “We wanted our giving to have an impact university wide, and the Honors College enrolls outstanding students across UVM majors and disciplines.”



This fall, UVM launched a crowd-donating platform called UVM Start that will allow student entrepreneurs to raise money through alumni donations. The program connects student startups with alumni—gaining the connections, mentoring, and capital necessary to get their companies off the ground. “Alumni support could make all the difference for many student startups,” said Tucker Severson, an MBA student. “Substantive capital and mentoring is often the difference between languishing and success. The university has many entrepreneurial students and supportive alumni, so by connecting the two, UVM Start plans to help turbo-charge entrepreneurship on campus.”

UVMStart is sponsored by the Vermont Technology Council, the UVM Foundation, and the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies.


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