Greg Shapen – a Donor Story

This post is part of our Health Centered Digital Edition for Fall 2020. Read the other entries in the series here.

Greg Shapen was a Howard Brown Health employee who died of AIDS-related complications 30 years ago. His parents, George and Juanita, wanted to ensure that Greg’s contributions were remembered, and so established an endowment and fellowship to keep the memory of their son alive in perpetuity.

Greg worked as a walk-in clinic manager at Howard Brown, where he met his partner, John Weldt. When Greg was diagnosed with AIDS, he told John “I want a house and a dog before I die.” They bought a three-flat in Andersonville and Greg adopted a Dalmatian that he named Daisy. “Howard Brown was the center of our lives,” John said, remembering that the staff threw them a dog shower.

Greg will be remembered for his thoughtfulness and generosity.  As the end of his life neared, Greg gave those he loved keepsakes by which to remember him. Greg gave his father a beloved tie that he still wears once a year.

Howard Brown is honored to receive a $1 million gift from George and Juanita Shapen to establish the Gregory Shapen Public Health Fellowship Endowment Fund. The largest private gift received by Howard Brown in its 46-year history, the endowment fund will support the Gregory Shapen Public Health Fellowship within Howard Brown’s Center for Education, Research and Advocacy. 

By supporting paid internship opportunities for under-represented LGBTQ undergraduates, the Shapen Fellowship will encourage the professional development of future leaders with interests in LGBTQ health.

Application information for the inaugural 2021 fellowship program will be released this fall at with contact and program information.


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