Marlene Brown ’56, ’65 imparted her passion for WSU and career in education through bequest

Marlene Brown

Marlene Brown’s love for her alma mater and her chosen fields of education and coaching motivated her to establish two funds at WSU through her estate.

Everything stopped for Marlene Brown ’56, ’65 when Shocker basketball games came on television, especially during the National Invitational Tournaments. The combination of her pride in Wichita State, athletics and teaching created Brown’s passions for life — passions she wanted others to have the opportunity to develop. Brown established two funds through her estate and left a substantial bequest to her alma mater. She died in October 2009.

Brown’s interests were fueled while a student at the University of Wichita and later WSU, majoring in physical education. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1956 and 1965, respectively. During her college days, Brown was a member of the Spirit Squad, Gamma Phi Beta and Pi Kappa Psi.

Brown then embarked on a successful, 37-year career as a teacher, administrator and coach with Wichita Public Schools. She retired in 1994 as principal of Pleasant Valley Junior High School. Brown channeled her academic side through endowing the Marlene M. Brown Fund for the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Educational and School Psychology in the College of Education. She had supported the college through the WSU Foundation Annual Fund since 1988.

“She wanted to give back to a place she loved and she wanted to support students going into education,” said her cousin, Robert Hall.

With her background in cheerleading and love of athletics, Brown also coached middle school volleyball throughout her career. Her support of physical activity inspired her to create the Marlene M. Brown Fund for the Department of Human Performance Studies.

Both of Brown’s funds will be awarded beginning fall 2013.

circle arrowTo make a legacy gift, please contact Michael Lamb, WSU Foundation vice president for planned and annual giving, at (316) 978-3804 or

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