The Biological Sciences Student Advisory Council (BioSAC) at Carnegie Mellon has once again claimed top fundraising prizes as part of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The overnight event — which began on Saturday, Oct. 6 and ended on Sunday, Oct. 7 — celebrated the success of all the participants who helped raise money for the ACS.
This year the relay took on a more personal tone, as Team BioSAC paid tribute to Dr. William Brown — a beloved and highly respected Carnegie Mellon professor and an integral part of the university's biological sciences department for over 30 years. Brown was diagnosed with having a brain tumor during summer 2007 and passed away after complications from surgery.
To reach their fundraising goals, the students held a series of successful bake sales and a raffle, obtained local sponsorship and gathered contributions from family and friends. They raised nearly $23,000 in Brown's memory — more than four times their initial goal — and secured the top fundraising team award for the entire Oakland Community. Their success and spirit earned them the Team Spirit Award for the event.
"I think Team BioSAC really embodied the spirit of Dr. Brown this year," said team captain Andrea Zonneveld (MCS '08). "We all pulled together and poured our hearts and souls into the fundraising, and it really paid off. I think Dr. Brown would be proud of us!"
At last year's relay, Brown walked laps and talked with students as they circled the track. He returned at 6 a.m. the next morning to help students clean up and celebrate at the awards ceremony. As a tribute to Brown and his legacy, team members wore plaid infinity ribbons at the event.
"We also sent some infinity ribbons to the Qatar campus, which was the latest endeavor that Dr. Brown was undertaking, so that his former students and coworkers there could also show their support," said BioSAC team member Rohit Ramnath (CMU '09). "As a department, this was our way of symbolizing the unending effect Dr. Brown will have on us all."
The campus community paid tribute to Brown at a memorial ceremony on Nov. 10 in Rangos Ballroom at 10 a.m.