The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania has renamed a building on its campus to honor its first African American graduate.
Louis Stanley Brown was born in 1902 in Scranton. At the age of 17 he earned a commercial degree from what was then St. Thomas College, later renamed the University of Scranton. The 1919 yearbook notes that Brown was ambitious and industrious as well as humorous and witty.
Despite his college education, Brown worked as a shoe shiner, coal miner, and for a local trucking company. He died at he age of 62 and his body was laid to rest in the Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.
University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn stated that “the university is proud to dedicate Louis Stanley Brown Hall, which takes a page out of the university’s history books and brings it to new life on campus and in the greater Scranton community. As an African American college graduate in the early 1900s, he serves as an illustration to Jesuit and Catholic education’s longstanding commitment to justice.”
The building, now called Louis Stanley Brown Hall, was built in 1896. The four-story brick structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was acquired by the university in 2012. It now houses the university’s Small Business Development Center, the enrollment management division and offices for university advancement operations.