Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Doug and Escha Brown Dedicate Advancement Dean Office

  • Naming Excellence
    Naming Excellence  Doug and Escha Brown made a gift naming the Associate Dean for Advancement Office, helping law students and honoring the work of the Law School’s Advancement deans.  Photo by David F. Morrill
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Thanksgiving came early to William & Mary Law School on the evening of Friday, November 17. That’s when members of the law community gathered to honor the generosity of Doug ’71, J.D. ’74 and Escha Brown.

The Browns made a gift naming the Associate Dean for Advancement Office, helping law students and honoring the work of the Law School’s Advancement deans. View a gallery of the event.

“By naming the Associate Dean for Advancement Office, Doug and Escha have found the perfect place to leave their lasting legacy while honoring the great work of Katey Howerton, Laura Beach and Sally Kellam,” said A. Benjamin Spencer, Dean and Trustee Professor. “In honoring the Browns, we acknowledge not just their financial contributions, but also their belief in the transformative power of education and the profound impact that it can have on individuals and society as a whole.”

Doug Brown credited his wife with the idea of naming the office after a visit last summer. At first they were going to put their names on it, but decided to honor Katey Howerton, the Associate Dean for Advancement and CEO of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation.

“Then I thought that if we’re going to put Katey’s name on it, we ought to put Laura Beach’s and Sally Kellam’s names on it,” Brown said. “Those are the three development officers that I worked with during my 12-year tenure on the Law Foundation board.”

Praising their efforts on behalf of the school, as well as their friendship, Escha Brown thanked the associate deans for their years of fundraising efforts.

“You've been my friends, most of all, but I really appreciate what you do to make it available for people to come to the law school and study and become lawyers, so you do make a difference,” Escha said.

Escha reminded attendees that as a Boy Scout leader, she knows that you leave a place better than you found it. “And to me, this is what our advancement deans do," she said. "They have left an indelible mark on all these students out here who are coming to law school who maybe can't afford to come to law school.”

Originally from Marion, Indiana, Doug Brown received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from William & Mary in 1971 and his law degree from same in 1974. At the Law School he received a scholarship and was a member of the William & Mary Law Review and Phi Alpha Delta.

After graduation, he worked for Shanley & Fisher, a large insurance defense firm in New Jersey, where he handled medical malpractice and product liability insurance defense litigation. In 1977, Brown began his nearly 33-year career with the General Motors Legal Staff in Detroit.

Escha Brown is a wonderful friend of the university and the Law School and is seen at every sporting event wearing her Griffin necklace cheering on the Tribe.  She is active with the Boy Scouts as a director of a Boy Scout camp and is a Disney aficionado.

Generous contributors to the University and Law School, the Browns took their support to another level by establishing The Douglas E. and Escha J. Brown Law Scholarship Endowment. Doug himself has served on a number of Law School and university-wide boards and committees.

In gratitude for their generosity, Dean Spencer presented the Browns with a framed replica of the nameplate that now adorns the wall outside the Advancement Dean’s office.

“The Doug and Escha Brown legacy is now a part of the very structure of our institution, a testament to your commitment to advancing knowledge, ethics and leadership,” Spencer said. “This room now stands as a reminder to future generations of the extraordinary impact that can be achieved through philanthropy and commitment to the ideals of education.”

View a gallery of the event.