June 13, 2006
Brown Center’s namesake, Bob Brown, dies at 93
Lifelong Arkansas City resident Bob Brown, whom Cowley College’s Brown Center for Arts, Sciences and Technology is named after, died Thursday afternoon at the age of 93.
Funeral services will be held today at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Arkansas City. Following the service there will be a reception in the Brown Center’s Wright Room.
“Mr. Brown was a true friend of Cowley College,” Cowley College President Dr. Pat McAtee said. “He was generous and supportive of a broad array of projects at the College. I am honored to have known him and had the opportunity to work with this kind, gentle man. The college is so proud to have his name on the beautiful Brown Center, which we consider the centerpiece of Cowley College.”
Brown graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1931 and then graduated from Northwestern University in 1935. Shortly after graduation, Brown began working at Home National Bank. He was drafted into the service during World War II and served from 1942-46. He returned from the service and became president of Home National Bank from 1946-79.
Brown’s father, Ralph, was the bank president from 1926-30. His son, Roger, succeeded Brown as bank president in 1979 and remains in that position.
Brown and his wife Jana, who married in 1942, were very instrumental in promoting Cowley College. The couple made an initial contribution of $250,000 to become the lead donor toward the new building project that began construction in 1992. They added another $50,000 to that to help get the balcony portion of the project completed, and also paid for all of the expenses during the dedication ceremony held Sept. 23, 1995.
Terri Morrow, Cowley College Dean of Development and College Relations, who headed the capital fund-raising campaign for the Brown Center, knew Brown well.
“Mr. Brown was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word,” Morrow said. “He cared deeply for his family, friends and in fact the entire community. He and Jana have given their time and talents to their church and many boards and committees over the years. They have truly affected positive change and better quality of life in our area. He will be truly missed, but his kindness will always be remembered and appreciated by all of us.”
Besides holding the positions of bank president and chairman, Brown served as president of many organizations including the local Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and Country Club.