Tom and Christine Briere, parents '13, '16

When Tom and Christine Briere were approached about serving on the DePauw Parents Council in 2009, their daughter, Madeline, had just begun her first year on campus, and the Brieres became the first active members of the council in several years.

 It might seem an unlikely leap for the couple whose prior experience with DePauw had been on the opposing side of the Monon Bell rivalry. Both Indiana natives, Tom is a 1982 graduate of Wabash College who met Christine (Butler University Class of 1985) through mutual friends at Butler.

The Brieres lead busy lives. Christine has worked for Eli Lilly and Company for 15 years, where she is a consultant, legal operations. Lilly generously matches the family’s gifts to DePauw. Tom is owner and president of TOMAD International, Inc., an export management company specializing in sales and marketing in the Middle East and Africa.

“After seeing the impact DePauw was having on our daughter,” Christine says, “we embraced the opportunity to serve as presidents of the Parents Council and to become very involved with the University.”

Parents Council members assist the University by attending and hosting various receptions, such as admissions events and summer send-off receptions. The council welcomes families on Opening Day, reaches out to the family of each first-year student during first semester, provides volunteers during Family Weekend and sends helpful resources to parents via mail. Members of the Parents Council periodically check in with families to see how things are going for their students and to offer peer-to-peer assistance if needed. Christine so believes in the importance of keeping parents connected to their students while at DePauw that she took a part-time role as director of parent engagement in July.

Based on their children’s experiences at DePauw and their own experience with the Parents Council, the Brieres contribute to the Cornelsen Challenge for student internships and to faculty and programs through The Fund for DePauw, providing financial support for the faculty, academic programs and cocurricular experiences that were so critical to their children’s learning and success.

“DePauw has become so important to our family, and we have such enthusiasm for this school. We consider ourselves ambassadors for the University and believe in the value the DePauw liberal arts education can provide,” Christine says.

The Brieres’ daughter, Madeline, graduated in 2013 and is now a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in Nashville, Tenn. Their son, Tommy ’16, majored in economics and started BMO Harris Bank’s Commercial Analyst Development Program in August and will work in its Indianapolis office. Christine says that she and Tom consider several Parents Council members close friends and hope to keep in touch with them even though their children have graduated.

“DePauw creates a special community for a lifetime, and we are grateful that our children are a part of it,” Christine says. “We believe their time at DePauw has made them more complete versions of themselves.”

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