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Brewer gift endows Carson-Newman’s Oxford Program, gives students “opportunity of a lifetime”

CLICK HERE to view photos on Facebook from the June 20 event honoring the Brewers.

(June 10, 2015) – A recent gift to Carson-Newman will endow the University’s Oxford Studies Program. The Brewer Oxford Scholars Endowment Fund, totaling over $330,000, is a donation by retired, long-time Carson-Newman employees Dr. Paul and Imogene Brewer.

The Oxford Studies Program allows students to travel to England to study at Oxford University’s Regent’s Park College. The experience is an academic dream for many students according to Dr. Andrew Smith, assistant professor of religion and director of the Oxford program.

“What this [donation] means is that the Oxford Studies Program is now permanent,” says Smith. “We have funding to send students to Oxford annually, which means that when students come into the department…I can tell them they will have an opportunity to apply for this program and the opportunity of a lifetime to study at Oxford University.”

Dr. Paul Brewer says that the opportunity to invest in the lives of students was at the heart of the couple’s decision to give.

“When you know that you’ve had one little thing to do with a good life for them [students],” says Paul, “it stays with you.”

Paul and Imogene, both Carson-Newman alumni and Jefferson City residents, invested much of their career at the University, dedicating a combined 65 years of service at the school before their retirements. Paul served as philosophy professor and department chair, while Imogene served as technical services librarian.

“When you are working at a place like Carson-Newman, that you know affects the whole lives of the students and not just their mental lives, then you want to participate in all aspects of it and do all you can to improve it,” shares Paul. “One of those things, of course, is sharing in giving to get things done that can’t ordinarily be done.”

Brewer contributions to Carson-Newman over the years have been significant. Imogene oversaw the library’s card catalog system and began the creation of the University’s online catalog system.

Paul was vital in the formation of several programs and events, including Carson-Newman’s first convocation, developing the Distinguished Faculty Award and establishing the University’s Honors Program more than a half-century ago.

Together, they have been dedicated supporters, contributing to such areas as the Annual Fund, scores of honorary scholarships, as well as significant gifts to Appalachian Outreach, Samaritan House, and Baptist History initiatives.

The University will honor the Brewers during a special dinner on campus later this month.

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