In Memory: Trustee Emeritus Richard “Dick” Brush ’52

Dear Laurentian community,

With a heavy heart, I share with you the news that Richard “Dick” Brush ’52, trustee emeritus, passed away on August 27. Dick served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1990 until 2001 with passion and returned to campus often throughout the remainder of his life.

While studying business administration at St. Lawrence, Dick was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and served as a member of Thelmo and The Hill News. An active member of the student body, he was also part of the journalism honorary, KSLU, Gridiron, University Choir, Winter Carnival Committee, and a member of Kixioc (senior honorary society).

In his professional life, Dick worked at the family business Sentry Group, a manufacturer of fire and theft-resistant safes. Founded in 1931, he took over in 1970 with his brother Jack and served as President/Treasurer until 1992. Dick served as chairman until 2006 and then chairman emeritus. His love for the arts was evident, and he was heavily involved through multiple organizations in his home area of Rochester, N.Y.

The University acknowledged his deep commitment and service with an Alumni Citation in 1980 and an honorary degree in 2011. In addition, he served as the Alumni Association president, as part of the Campaign St. Lawrence Steering Committee, as a class agent, career advisor, and multiple reunion committees too numerous to name. If there was a committee to join, Dick readily volunteered.

Dick’s enduring legacy and philanthropic spirit span as deep as his involvement and volunteer activities. He is among St. Lawrence’s most generous donors, and generations of Laurentians will benefit from his unwavering support. Dick was well known in the late 1990s and early 2000s for offering 1:1 donor giving challenges to boost the St. Lawrence Fund. This incentive led to many record-breaking St. Lawrence Fund years. The Richard F. Brush ’52 University Quad was named in his honor in 2016, as was the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery in 1979. His support has included endowed funds to honor family members and friends as well as general University operations. Two prominent sculptures on campus were gifts from Dick: The Cluster of Four Cubes that is in front of the Sullivan Student Center, and Birth, which sits on the southwest corner of the Brush University Quad, just off the Class of ’75 Promenade.

The Brush family legacy is comprised of four generations of alumni and includes three trustees.  The family legacy began in 1922 with Dick’s mother and father, John D. Brush, Sr., Class of 1922 (trustee emeritus), and Edna Jeanne Brush, Class of 1924, and continued with Dick and his brothers John “Jack” Brush ’50 (trustee emeritus) and Robert Brush ’61, nephew Jim Brush ’77, P’08 (former trustee) and niece Suzy Brush ’80, P’07, ’11.

Ed Wilson ’53, chairman emeritus of St. Lawrence‘s Board of Trustees, shared: “Dick Brush was an extraordinary trustee, dedicated with his family to the successful achievement of St. Lawrence’s demanding mission. His passions were dedicated to the arts but he never lost sight of the University’s philanthropic underpinnings. Dick’s dedication to St. Lawrence will be greatly missed if only in absentia.”

There is a plan for a Celebration of Life on Wednesday, September 22, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.

Please join me in extending our sympathies to the Brush family, as well as appreciation for all that Dick Brush did for our community. I invite you to share your memories and reflections on our Memorial website

Kate Morris