About the Thomas R. Brown Foundations

The Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson are “building a community of engaged, well-educated people with opportunities for quality employment for all.”

The philosophy and objectives of the Foundations are derived from the life and accomplishments of its founder and benefactor, Thomas Rush Brown, Jr., who died in 2002.

Mr. Brown was one of Arizona’s most successful businessmen, co-founding Burr-Brown Research Corporation in Tucson with Page Burr in 1956. The company grew to be a multi-billion-dollar semiconductor firm known worldwide for its high-quality products. In 1983, Burr-Brown went public, and in 2000, was sold to Texas Instruments.

Brown Foundations Grantmaking Priorities

The Foundations are dedicated to advancing solutions to community problems through strategic grants, research and policy analysis in four principal focus areas—research and education, workforce development, civic leadership, and economics education.

The Foundations provide grants in support of educational institutions and programs, for activities such as improving basic literacy and numeracy, to supporting technological innovation and entrepreneurial effort; to develop strong civic leadership in Arizona through nonpartisan programs such as the Flinn-Brown Fellowship; and to equip teachers to increase student exposure to fundamental principles of economics in a neutral way.

Central to everything Mr. Brown did was his belief that the welfare of society is advanced through individual initiative and the preservation of the free-enterprise system. It was his wish to encourage people to participate fully in our democracy with knowledge, balanced judgment, personal initiative, and with motivation to be productive and contributory citizens.

Thomas and Helen Brown had two daughters, Mary and Sarah, who now lead the foundations. The Board of Trustees have diverse backgrounds in education, business, economics, and technology, and include longtime associates of Thomas Brown and other community leaders.

The Foundations consist of the Thomas R. Brown Foundation, a private operating foundation, and the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. The two entities are legally separate, but are governed by the same trustees, and programs of both foundations are coordinated where appropriate.