Raymond Kilbourne Brown '48

 

Ray Brown entered Roanoke College as a student in 1940, and with the exception of a 4-year stint in the Army, one might say that he has never left. Mr. Brown has been an integral part of the College community for 41 years -- as a student, as a member of the faculty, and as a member of the staff. He is responsible for some of the things that make Roanoke College the special place that it is today.

Ray was born and grew up in Massachusetts and attended Williston Academy in East Hampton. His decision to attend Roanoke College was in part due to his strong desire to come to Virginia. He enrolled in 1940, but his education was soon interrupted by the war. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was a parachutist with the 13th Airborne Division. After his military duty, he returned to Roanoke College and graduated in 1948 with a degree in physics. As a student, he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and president of Alpha Psi Omega drama fraternity. Ray then joined the faculty at Roanoke and taught Physics and Pre-Engineering for 12 years, introducing the first course in Modern Physics in 1951.

In 1960, Ray switched from teaching to become Roanoke's Alumni Director. During his 11 years as director, he founded the Athletic Hall of Fame, moved Alumni Weekend from Commencement to its present time, and was involved in several capital campaigns. He also designed the Roanoke College Medal which we honor him with today. In 1971 he changed "hats" again to become Sports Information Director and Roanoke's first Director of Audiovisual Services. Mr. Brown retired in 1986 after a lifetime of service to Roanoke College. He remains an active alumnus and retired member of the College.

Not only has Ray served the College in such a dedicated manner, but he has also served the community. He has participated in the Boy Scouts for over 40 years, and for his extensive work, the National Council of Boy Scouts of America presented him with the coveted Silver Beaver Award in 1986. He is a Charter Member of the Salem Jaycees, and a member of First United Methodist Church.

Ray met his wife Esther Clark Brown in a college play when they were students. She is a 1942 Roanoke alumna and a respected family physician. They have been married for 54 years. They have five children, Steven, David, Susan, Mary Elizabeth and Peter, and 10 grandchildren. The Browns reside in Salem.

Raymond Kilbourne Brown, for your life-long commitment to Roanoke College and to your community, it is indeed an honor, and it is most fitting, to present you with this legacy of your own design - the Roanoke College Medal.