Elie Hirschfeld Scholarships Allow Brown University Students to Pursue Careers in Science, Art

Share Article

Tradition of supporting students at alma mater pursue academic and research opportunities.

The Hirschfeld Realty Scholarship Program and the Council for the 1990s National Scholarship, funded by generous donations from Elie Hirschfeld, are making dreams into reality for two Brown University students, Witney Chen ('14) and Nara Shin (‘13).

Witney is currently pursuing work in neurosciences, while Nara is studying music. Both say they are able to take advantage of opportunities they otherwise might not even know of, if not for the Hirschfield-funded programs.

“I am a passionate believer in giving our young people the best education in the world, and allowing their aspirations to drive their achievements,” said Elie Hirschfeld. “Brown did amazing things for me as a young person and I believe strongly in its reputation as an institution of higher education of exceptional quality. My only hope is to be able to fund scholarships that will make a difference in the lives of more young people for as long as I am able.”

"In my time at Brown, not only have I discovered a passion for neuroscience, but I have been able to supplement my coursework with lab experience that has enriched my educational experience and is allowing me to go more in depth with my research, including developing my own projects," writes Hirschfeld Realty Scholar Witney Chen, a first-generation college student from Quincy, MA, who is gaining laboratory experience related to her neuroscience concentration.

Outside the classroom and laboratory, Witney continues to be involved with China Care Brown, a group that connects Brown students with Chinese adoptees through cultural programs, activities, festivals, and dinners. Additionally, she serves on the executive board for the Brown Taiwan Society, where she helps to plan events celebrating Taiwanese culture on campus.

A native of Korea, Nara Shin says the Hirschfeld scholarship has helped her discover a passion for music. “I changed concentrations in my sophomore year from international relations to music and have never been more content, independent and thankful."

At Brown, Nara has had the unique opportunity to play the University's Hutchings-Votey organ located in Sayles Hall-a grand instrument that features 3,355 pipes. "Not many students at Brown or across the United States can say they have played a similarly sized instrument," explains Nara. "Because organ lessons are a part of my financial aid package, I was able to learn how to play the historic organ without being burdened financially.”

“Brown is made stronger by the presence of students such as Witney and Nara, who enliven our classrooms, laboratories, stages, playing fields, and recital halls. They come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and comprise a community of scholars that mirrors the world at large,” said James Tilton, Jr., Director of the Office of Financial Aid at Brown University. “Thanks to Elie’s unique contributions, Brown has been able to increase its financial aid resources every year since 2001. In the last eight years in particular, we have more than doubled our financial aid budget from $44 million to $90.1 million. This is a marvelous achievement and a tremendous gift to our students, their families, and the University community.”

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jody Fisher
Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-8296
Email >
Visit website