Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Sharpe, Henry D. 1894

Henry Dexter Sharpe (1872-1954), twelfth chancellor of Brown University, graduated in 1894. Five years after his graduation he became president of Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company after the death of his father. Only ten years after his graduation he was named a trustee of the University. He served on the Corporation for fifty years, on the Advisory and Executive Committee for 39 years, and on the Investment Committee for 38 years. He was chancellor for twenty years, from 1932 to 1952. In 1936 he was named chairman of the University Council, a group formed to work out a long-term program for increasing Brown’s financial resources. Residing very close to the University at 84 Prospect Street (his home is now Rochambeau House), Sharpe was able to lend his active influence as well as his financial assistance to Brown. In 1927 he donated five fellowships to the Graduate School, in the Departments of Biology, English, History, Mathematics, and Romance Languages. He donated over $200,000 to the Housing and Development Campaign in the 1940s, and at his suggestion his donation was the principal funding of the new classroom building, Whitehall, which was such a radical departure from the traditional architecture of the campus. When he died on May 17, 1954, his largest public bequest was to Brown.