Donna Brownell

Donna Brownell

David M. Paul wasn’t a UNH alumnus. But when the successful businessman and engineer retired to New Hampshire many years ago, he developed a great affinity for the University—a place his daughter, Donna Brownell, worked, and his grandson, Tony Brownell ’13, attended—and particularly its sports teams. When Paul died in May of 2012 at the age of 83, he left behind the David M. Paul Family Foundation, the assets of which were to be used for charitable, literary, scientific, educational, and religious purposes. Charged with finding causes that would reflect and honor her father’s interests, his daughter knew at once that an athletic endowment at UNH would be on the list.

Brownell and her family established the David M. Paul Family Scholarship Fund to support a member of the UNH football team, with preference given to a student-athlete enrolled in the business school. In September of 2012, the fund awarded its first scholarship, to Jared Allison ’15, a wide receiver from Cliffwood, New Jersey, majoring in business administration. 

Brownell, who describes her late father as a “frugal Yankee and the consummate planner,” says creating endowed funds was a perfect fit for Paul’s desire to invest and plan for the future—as well as her own family’s desire to honor in perpetuity a man they loved and admired.

“Since my father had provided financial support for all of his grandchildren to attend college, it made sense to us to help others through scholarship support,” she explains. As a UNH parent and a University employee, Brownell also had a very special perspective on the difference her family’s gift could make at this time.

“Given the magnitude of the state budget cuts, I know how critical donor support is to the institution, and I’m excited that my family was able to give in a way that provides ongoing support in Dad’s memory,” she says. In addition to the UNH gift, the Paul Family Foundation established the David M. Paul ’52 Scholarship Endowment at Norwich University, Paul’s alma mater, and has made contributions to other universities with significance to the family.

Brownell describes her father as a lifelong sports fan who held season tickets to West Point football, the closest college to their New York State home. She thinks he would be as thrilled as she is by the choice of Allison as the first Paul Family Fund scholarship recipient.

Donna made her own estate gift to the family fund in 2020 to further the impact of her family's legacy.