Memorial service planned Thursday for longtime St. Thomas faculty member Dr. Michael Brown

A memorial service for Dr. Michael D. Brown, 64, a longtime member of the University of St. Thomas School of Education faculty, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, in the Chapel of St. Thomas More in the School of Law building on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus, 1101 Harman Place.

Following the service, a reception will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the first-floor atrium of Terrence Murphy Hall, 1000 LaSalle Ave., also on the downtown campus.

Dr. Michael D. Brown

Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, will lead the memorial service. Dr. Ann Ryan, a St. Thomas professor and interim chair of the School of Education’s Special Education Department, will give the eulogy.

Brown, who died unexpectedly at his home in Richfield on March 9, was a member of the St. Thomas community for 28 years and for the past four years had been chair of the Special Education Department.

“We treasured having him here,” said Dr. Miriam Williams, dean of the School of Education. “Dr. Brown contributed much to the School of Education, to the university, and to Minnesota. He served on many state committees that dealt with special education.”

For many years, Williams said, Brown took great pride in serving as the faculty marshal at the university’s graduate commencement exercises.

Dr. Ann Ryan, who had worked with Brown for three decades, said that “people will first remember Michael Brown as a kind and gentle man. Then they will remember him as gifted educator who was always there to help students with their questions and concerns. Finally, they will remember Michael as someone who worked hard to uphold the dignity, worth and rights of people with disabilities. Michael believed people are more alike than different; he was a good man.”

Brown was an associate professor who specialized in the areas of learning disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders, mental retardation and early childhood special education. He was a member of eight professional organizations related to his field.

A scholarship fund, the Michael D. Brown Scholarship for Special Education Students, has been created in his memory. If you wish to make a donation, please make checks payable to the University of St Thomas, with a note in the memo area of your check that your donation is for the Michael Brown Scholarship Fund. Please send to: University of St Thomas, 1000 LaSalle Ave., MOH 217, Minneapolis, MN 55403. For more information about the fund, contact Pat Helland at the School of Education, (651) 962-4980.