In Memoriam: Walter Matthew Brown, 1927-2022

Walter Brown, the former dean of the School of Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham, died on February 12. He was 94 years old.

A native of Durham, Walter Brown enrolled at what is now North Carolina Central University in 1943. After serving in Germany during World War II, he returned to the university to earn his bachelor’s degrees in biology, sociology, and education. He went on to earn a master’s degree at New York University.

In 1950, Brown was hired as an instructor at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1952, Brown returned to North Carolina Central University to enroll in the newly-created doctoral program in education. In 1955, he received a Ph.D. in educational guidance in psychology. He was the first student to graduate with a Ph.D. degree from any historically Black college or university in the United States.

Dr. Brown then joined the faculty as an associate professor in the department of education at North Carolina Central University. In 1965, Dr. Brown and his family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland. He worked for the Department of Labor as a VISTA training officer. In 1980, Dr. Brown returned to his alma mater as a professor of education and later served as the first dean of the School of Education from 1989 until his retirement in 1992.

In retirement, Dr. Brown continued his education at the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement. He taught calligraphy in the NCCU Art Department and at Durham Technical Community College. Dr. Brown did the artwork for a children’s book and wrote his memoir I Walked the Sloping Hills (Stovepipe Publishing, 2010).


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