RUE Stories: Former Professional Athlete Jon Famery

The Brown University Resumed Undergraduate Education Program (RUE) is a small and highly competitive program for students who interrupted or delayed their formal education due to family commitments, financial concerns, health issues, military service, employment opportunities, or other compelling explorations of different paths. Just like traditional undergrads, RUE students take advantage of the flexibility found within Brown’s open curriculum and earn a bachelor’s degree (A.B or Sc.B) by the time of their graduation . Students who come to Brown through the RUE program epitomize the incredible diversity found within campus. To illustrate the diversity of this community, Brown Undergraduate Admissions is featuring stories of individual RUE students. We hope that their stories and the opportunities they have had here at Brown will resonate and encourage those who digressed from traditional paths, and provide a powerful community open to those very individuals.

Story by Lauren Shin

Before enrolling in Brown’s Resumed University Education program, Jon played professional soccer in France for eight years. Now, as class president of RUE, he has been working on building the community of RUE to have a larger presence on campus.


“I was training every day, preparing for games, preparing for tournaments. I was also traveling a lot and living with my teammates on a daily basis. It was a great experience because it also gave me the skills and experiences that could be applied in the academic and business world: how to work in a team, how to be a good teammate, how to be curious and eager to learn, and how to work hard.”

Jon has thus applied the skills he developed being a professional athlete in his current concentration in Business, Economics, and Organizations. Within the BEO concentration he has focused his studies on the economic track, where he has learned new skills on how to maintain a successful business, honing in on financial strategies while also developing an innovative spirit.

He was originally between the resumed education programs at Brown and Columbia. However, what really solidified his decision was when he actually visited Brown’s campus and felt at home with its collaborative and encouraging academic environment.

 “The thing is when you arrive at Brown’s campus, personally I felt right away comfortable here. It depends on the person, but for me, I felt really at home. After I spoke with faculty members and professors, they were all so welcoming, helpful, and open-minded in the way that I felt they genuinely wanted to help me take full advantage of all of the university’s resources and opportunities.”


He was also very attracted to Brown’s RUE program because of the community of students, the interaction of diverse personalities and backgrounds, that was unlike anywhere else. While the RUE community may be small, it is a tight knit community in which Jon himself has been working on making stronger as student president of the RUE class. The more long-term goals for RUE entails further integrating RUE with the rest of the undergraduate community.

“RUE students are very useful on campus in the way that they can share their views on life with students. They can teach them things about life where you may have a hint on campus, but most of the time, life on campus doesn’t reflect a lot of the real world. The RUE community has the real life experience. We have students who worked in the Navy, studied art, are single mothers, all these real life experiences that they can share with other students.”


The opportunities given by Brown’s RUE program has inspired Jon to also give back to his community.

“The RUE program brought me a lot of different things. The RUE program is teaching us to be able to share and build the precious time that you have within a community that wants you to be there.”

 The RUE Application is now live. To learn more about Brown University’s RUE program or to apply, click here.




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