At the dedication of his father's memorial fellowship, young Steven J. Brooks said his father "believed deeply in three principles: hard work, determination, and dreaming big." All three were in play in the elder Brooks' role as a dedicated alumnus. He organized reunions, raised funds, hired interns, and maintained close ties with faculty and fellow alumni.
The Steven H. Brooks, MBA '74, Memorial Fellowship honors the depth of Steven Brooks's commitment to the Johnson School. "It's wonderful that his name will always be remembered in a place he loved and respected," says his widow, Elmerina Baldini Brooks, MBA '79. Initial funding for the fellowship has been provided by Brooks, Houghton & Company, the New York-based investment bank that Brooks co-founded with Gerald Houghton in 1989. Says Houghton, "All the members of the firm believe the fellowship is a meaningful way to honor Steven. We hope that others will participate as well." Proceeds will help future students.
Establishing and growing a successful investment bank requires extraordinary skill, tenacity, drive, and wisdom. Doing so with a partner creates additional challenges. "A partnership that endures as long as ours did is quite unique," says Houghton. "One of the reasons it worked was Steven's capacity to work under pressure while always respecting the views of others."
Immediately prior to founding Brooks, Houghton & Company, Brooks had worked with Houghton at Merrill Lynch. Earlier, he had undertaken additional graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and had worked for Scott Paper, General Foods, and Smith Barney.
Brooks poured time, energy, and creativity into his work, but he was also a loving, proud, and devoted husband and father. He and Elmerina met at a Cornell Club function in New York City, married, and produced three more Cornellians. Their two younger sons, Austin and Ryan, are now on campus. Their oldest, Steven, attended Cornell, graduated from Columbia University in May, and just launched his career at a hedge fund.
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Steven's capacity to work under pressure while always respecting the views of others." —Gerald Houghton