Avon Old Farms News


Featured Alumnus: G. Garvin Brown IV ’87
Adam Hushin

Featured Alumnus: G. Garvin Brown IV ’87

Over 35 years later, the Brotherhood is as strong as ever. 

With a large percentage of international students every year and an ever-expanding alumni network, it is clear that the Avon Old Farms Brotherhood is a global entity. This was especially evident last month when over a dozen Winged Beavers reunited in London, England, for a gathering hosted by G. Garvin Brown IV ’87. 

“We had a great turnout,” Brown says. “Suffice to say, it was great to see the Detoras in town, and to be able to host them in London. I do hope that the twenty-somethings enjoyed a sense of their school's global reach, and that they enjoyed the start of the alumni journey, of them keeping in touch with the school community for years to come.” 

This life-long connection is something that Brown has been reminded of recently. After returning to The Farm for his 10-year reunion in 1997, Brown did not come back again until two recent visits with his family, and was on campus again last June for his 35-year reunion. 

“Honestly, I was left speechless by how impactful it was to see my friends again, walking through the Quad, down to the fields, and over to the pond. A lot has happened in 35 years, to say the least, in all of our lives, but we picked up almost right where we left off, and I couldn't be more grateful to them for their ongoing friendship and camaraderie.”

While the Brotherhood remains constant, it’s certainly true for Brown that a lot has changed in the last 35 years. 

Brown and his wife Steffanie raised two children who are both now in college, and he himself continued his education at the London Business School where he received an MBA in 2001. In July of 2021, after almost 14 years as the Chairman of his family's distillery, Brown retired and was replaced by his brother and fellow Avonian Campbell Brown '86.

After retiring from that role, Brown became a venture partner at Ascension, an early-stage venture capital firm backing the next generation of tech and impact founders in the UK. His focus in that role involves helping businesses tackle social inequalities, such as housing affordability and accessibility.

When asked how his time at AOF helped prepare him for his various jobs throughout his career, Brown said it would take days to adequately answer, and explained that Avon’s influence began from the moment he landed at the Hartford airport on his own at the age of 15, looking for a taxi to Avon, CT.

“A quick list would include: the confidence that comes from surviving football sports camp, dry land training for skiing, and working in the dish room; the knowledge acquired in European, U.S. and Russian history classes, and the books read in myriad English classes; the responsibilities of being a hall monitor and head of a dorm; the public speaking training from Student Council and drama; and the slow build of emotional intelligence acquired by being thrown into life with a bunch of kids from all over the country and world.”

In addition to his new role at Ascension, Brown said he is happy to have more time to pursue philanthropic endeavors. This would add to an already lengthy career of volunteer work and charitable giving. Brown and his wife endowed a chair in democratic studies at McGill University in Montreal, he is also a board member of the UK's United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency, and of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

For Brown, being able to return to this type of work is “nothing short of pure joy for me.”

Here at Avon, the Brown family’s generosity benefits  past, present, and future Avonians through key campus facilities or through their philanthropy the campus has community centered spaces that are the hubs of student life: the Brown Student Center, Brown House Dormitory, and Susan Casey Brown Auditorium, which was named after his mother. 

That generosity was also exemplified at the Avonian gathering in London. Director of Institutional Advancement Chris Webb expressed his appreciation for Brown and all others that choose to host these events. 

“Events like the one hosted by Garvin give us a platform to share all of the exciting updates with alumni, parents and even with prospective families,” Webb says. “We’re indebted to Garvin and all others that have hosted our events because they are so vital to Avon’s success.”

A full list of upcoming Alumni events can be found on the school's website