Emory Day of Giving 2022: Warren and Kathy Brook support student international travel with BITE

Daniel Christian •

Warren and Kathy Brook

The Brook International Travel Endowment (BITE) supports Oxford students who are first-time international travelers with airfare for study abroad and travel courses.

Warren Brook 70Ox 72B says there are two things that changed his life and perspective on the world: attending Oxford College and traveling the globe. 

Warren’s wife Kathy shares his love for travel, and though she is not an alum, she too has fallen for Oxford, seeming to remember Warren’s college stories even better than he does. In 2017, they fused these passions into a lasting gift to Oxford in the form of the Brook International Travel Endowment (BITE). With an initial endowment of $50,000 (which has now grown to more than $250,000), BITE has been funding off-campus international travel for Oxford students who are going abroad for the first time, covering airfare in study abroad and travel courses for awarded recipients. The Brooks enjoy meeting the recipients and have dinner with them each year.

“My first trip abroad was the most transformational experience I had,” Warren said. “I learned so much about myself. Kathy had a similar experience, and both of us think we’re far better people than we would have been had we not traveled internationally. By setting up the BITE fund, it allows people who otherwise could not go on an international trip until much later in life to go ahead and get that transformational experience.”

As the annual Emory Day of Giving approaches on March 30, the Brooks have been reflecting on their philanthropic relationship with Oxford. They started small and increased their giving over the years, eventually including an estate gift to help preserve the 19th century buildings on campus such as Seney Hall, the Chapel, and Johnson Hall. 

Warren immediately bonded with his fellow students when he arrived at Oxford in 1968 and began many lifelong friendships. The formative experiences he had and connections he developed are why he has continued to give back and participate in alumni affairs. 

“I learned in my first three or four days on campus that I’d made the greatest decision of my life,” he said.

Those connections have inspired Warren to get involved in many ways over the years. He has served on the Oxford College Alumni Board as both member and secretary, on the Emory Alumni Board, and on the Oxford Board of Counselors. Warren has planned more of his class reunions than any other alum and has been particularly active in the upcoming 50th reunion celebration on May 6-7.

Tammy Camfield 89Ox 91C, Oxford's Senior Director of Alumni Engagement, has known Warren and Kathy for decades and has seen their philanthropy grow. “Their support of Oxford extends beyond their financial contributions; Warren is a model alumnus and Kathy might say she loves Oxford as much, if not more than her alma mater. Thus, the reason she received Oxford’s Honorary Alumna award in 2012.”

In the last two years, the Brooks have matched Emory Day of Giving contributions to BITE and look forward to doing the same this year. Warren, who has also been heavily involved in mentoring students, encourages his fellow alumni to give back in whatever way they can.

“There is no one way to give. Giving doesn’t have to be cookie cutter,” he said. “The three main ways are: money, time, and mentoring.”

Warren is particularly passionate about mentorship in financial planning, encouraging students to find ways to save for the future. He credits his own planning with providing him the flexibility to give to Oxford and hopes that future alumni can do the same. 

This year’s Emory Day of Giving will begin on March 30 at 6:00 a.m. and run for 36 hours—until March 31 at 11:59  p.m.—in the spirit of Emory’s 2O36 campaign to educate exceptional human beings who are equipped to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams. To learn more about how to contribute during the 2022 Day of Giving, click here.

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