WMU News

Charles Thomas Brown

Aug. 4, 2003

Charles Thomas Brown, distinguished university professor emeritus of communication arts and sciences at Western Michigan University died July 29 in Newburyport, Mass. He was 91.

Brown joined the WMU Faculty in 1948 and served as chair of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences from 1966 to 1976. In 1967, Brown became one of the first recipients of the WMU Alumni Association-sponsored Teaching Excellence Awards, and in 1978, he became only the third member of the faculty to be named a Distinguished University Professor by the WMU Board of Trustees. Brown retired in 1981. Three years later, he was the inaugural speaker in a communications arts and sciences lecture series named in his honor.

A native of Braddock, Pa., Brown received his bachelor's degree from Westminster College in 1934. After several years serving as a a teacher and high school debating coach, he earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1940. He taught briefly at Florida Southern College before entering the U.S. Navy as a communications officer in World War II. Following his Naval service, Brown returned to the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a Ph.D. in public address.

A winner of the International Listening Association's Hall of Fame Award, Brown authored or co-authored several books, including "Introduction to Speech," "Speech and Man," "Communication in Human Relationships" and "Monologue to Dialogue."

Brown's wife, Martha, preceded him in death. Surviving are his daughter, Judith Wright, and her
husband, Tony, of West Newbury, Mass.; son Charles Brown and his wife Diana of Mobile, Ala.; one brother; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Nelson Funeral Service Chapel in Eureka Springs, Ark. Memorial contributions may be made to the Charles T. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund in the WMU Department of Communication and mailed to the WMU Foundation, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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