The Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown.
The Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown.

The Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown is home to 115 graduate and professional students and the Graduate School offices. It provides a hub for graduate student life, offering students opportunities to meet and collaborate with faculty and peers across disciplines, develop skills for academic and professional success, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The center’s primary mission is to promote graduate education and graduate community. The building is also used for events and services organized or held by or for the Graduate School, graduate students, and graduate alumni. 



Frank Donaldson Brown

Frank Donaldson Brown

The building memorializes Frank Donaldson Brown, a 1902 graduate of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech). He worked for the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Co. as an explosives salesman and ultimately company treasurer, playing a role in the company's diversification into the chemical field. He then became vice president of finance and a board member at General Motors Corp. He was a charter recipient of Virginia Tech's Distinguished Alumni Citation.

Building History

The newest section of the building, originally known as the Continuing Education Center, was constructed 1965-68. The older section, originally known as the Faculty Center, was built in 1935 and was used as faculty apartments and public dining room until closed in spring 1965. 

The facility served as the university’s hotel and conference center before its conversion in 2006 for graduate use. The newer portion contains 622-seat auditorium, 500 capacity dining room, seven, 60-seat conference rooms and 141 single and double rooms.

Map Grid: O-5

Building Number: 251

Originally Built: 1935

Abbreviation: ALUM

Latitude: 37.22822

Longitude: -80.41756