Eastern Oregon University > EOU Foundation > Foundation Profiles > Donor Spotlight: Ted and Mary Brown

Donor Spotlight: Ted and Mary Brown

They’ve got a spark in them

The late Ted and Mary Brown bequeathed a bevy of interests to their three children. Ted, who taught at EOU, studied for a master’s in entomology and followed his passion from teaching Spanish, to anthropology, to education courses, and leading outdoor recreation groups.

Mary worked on campus as an advisor to foreign exchange students, and their children, Cathy, Alexander and Ann, inherited their parents’ passions.

“We got to participate so much in our parents’ lives,” Ann said. “Most folks stick the kids in the basement with a pizza, but we were involved in all of the things our parents were doing.”

All three siblings attended EOU and when Ted died in 2017, a former faculty member reached out to Ann, youngest of the three, about setting up a scholarship in honor of her parents.

Ann, ’80, earned a degree in chemistry before embarking on a 30-year veterinary career. At age 11, she tagged along as “unofficial mascot” of the student exchange program her father started in Michuacan, Mexico.

Ted also initiated a program that placed student-teachers in migrant camps, where they practiced bilingual education. Alexander carries on this passion as an advocate for DACA students.

Cathy, meanwhile, picked up her parents’ penchant for teaching and the arts. Ann said her father enjoyed helping young teachers brave their first day in the classroom.

“He probably nudged them in the door with a, ‘You can do it!’” Ann said. “He would come home and say, “They’ve got a spark in them.’”

The siblings created a scholarship in honor of their parents through the EOU Foundation. In determining what type of students would be eligible, they focused on their folks’ many passions and split along somewhat predictable lines.

“My sister wanted to award a music student and my brother wanted them to be bilingual,” Ann said. “Tom Bradbear, who worked with my dad, helped us decide to award a master’s student in any subject.”

The Ted and Mary Brown Scholarship Fund will be awarded for the first time in fall [2019] to local students in the Master’s of Art in Teaching program with financial need.

“I got a scholarship when I was entering college from Maybel Doty,” Ann said. “I never met her, but it was so encouraging. Our hope is that this scholarship helps and inspires somebody.”