In Memoriam Ann Lee Saunders Brown

Through January, we’re publishing a retrospective of events which had an impact on the Library in FY2020. Download a full PDF of this year’s Annual Report to read more.

Ann Lee Brown sitting in a chair smiling, her while, curly-haired dog, Nikki-Beau, sitting beside her.

Mrs. Brown with her dog Nicholas Beauregard (Nikki Beau for short). Photo by Melissa Loggins.

Ann Lee Saunders Brown, visionary benefactor of the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library, died on February 22, 2020, at the age of 101. Over the course of a long and fruitful life Brown was a tireless supporter of educational institutions throughout the state of Virginia, and the University of Virginia benefited immeasurably from her generosity. At UVA, Brown established a Jefferson scholarship and an award for patient care quality, and endowed both the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Science and Engineering Library, all in the name of her late husband Charles L. Brown, a 1943 graduate of the University who died in 2003. Her gift to the library had a three-fold designation to support collections, innovation, and technology and furnishings. She also endowed a fund for the purchase of flowers and greenery to provide an “uplifting” atmosphere in the Brown Library reading room, one of UVA’s most popular study spaces.

Each September, Brown visited the library to join students and staff in honoring her late husband on his birthday. She was often joined by members of her family and she unfailingly brought her beloved dog Nicholas Beauregard (Nikki Beau), who was a hit in his own right.

Brown was well known to library staff not only for her generosity and warmth but for her vibrancy, her charm, her storytelling powers, and her love of learning. In August 2014, in honor of her commitment and generosity, the high-end presentation room in the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library was officially renamed as the Ann Lee Saunders Brown Room.

In the foreground of the main service area of the Brown Science & Engineering Library there is a vase of cheerful, multi-colored flowers, while in the background a student studies at a laptop with ear phones, and staff conduct business at the service desk.

One of the many flower arrangements purchased with Brown’s endowment to provide an “uplifting” atmosphere in the Brown Library reading room. Photo by Melissa Loggins.

A vase of purple, white, yellow, and red flowers and greenery.

Another arrangement from the Brown fund. Photo by Melissa Loggins.

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