“Besides being the right thing to do and besides it being our responsibility as alumni, Lynne and I were motivated and inspired by the Democracy Institute’s work at a time when democracy itself is a subject of much debate on both sides,” Larry Brown said in announcing the couple’s gift. “We were also inspired by the McCourtneys who took the initiative in creating these new professorships that will bring experts to the campus and help our students exercise their minds in planning for their futures, just like Lynne and I had the opportunity to do in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is definitely a win-win.”
The Browns' recent gift is their most recent philanthropic gesture in support of the McCourtney Institute and other programs in the College of the Liberal Arts. In 2014, they endowed the Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal, an annual award and lecture that honors an outstanding individual, organization, or group for exceptional innovation in the advancement of democracy. The couple also established a fund to support graduate students in the Richards Civil War Era Center (RCWEC) and another fund to support internships at national parks for undergraduate students.
“Larry and Lynne have already made a huge contribution to the McCourtney Institute through their earlier gift creating the Brown Medal,” said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “Now they have generously provided further support for an outstanding faculty member whose interests will reflect those of the mission of the McCourtney Institute. I am very grateful to them for this wonderful gift.
“I also very much appreciate the amazing gift by Tracy and Ted McCourtney that has made these professorship matches possible."
Larry Brown received his bachelor’s degree in history from Penn State in 1971 and then went on to earn his juris doctorate from Villanova University in 1975. He began his career as an assistant district attorney for the City of Philadelphia and was appointed chief of the office’s Economic Crimes Unit in 1979. Today, he is a founding partner with the Philadelphia firm Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler, concentrating on cases associated with asbestos exposure. Here at Penn State, he currently chairs the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s Board of Visitors and sits on the college’s Development Council and the RCWEC Board of Visitors.
Lynne Brown received her baccalaureate in education from Penn State in 1972. After earning a master’s degree in counseling from Villanova University, she embarked on a distinguished 37-year career with the Philadelphia School District. She served as a classroom and program support teacher, counselor and instructional reform facilitator in the school district. Now retired, she volunteers in the local community and spends as much time as she can with her three grandchildren. Their son, Adam, followed in their footsteps as a Penn State graduate in 2002. Like his mother, he also taught in the Philadelphia School District, but retired earlier this year to devote all of his time to his real estate practice.