Charles R. Brown

Dr. Charles R. Brown has spent a lifetime living out his passion to provide quality education to children of all backgrounds. As one of Missouri’s most prominent leaders in education, his career spans over 50 years.

Following his graduation from the University of Missouri and a period as a professional football player, Dr. Brown began his career as an elementary school teacher in St. Louis. He quickly advanced through the ranks, ultimately becoming the Assistant Commissioner of Teacher Quality and Urban Education for the State of Missouri. Dr. Brown received his master’s degree in Education Policymaking from Washington University in 1978 and proceeded to earn his doctorate in Educational Administration from Iowa State University in 1983. Dr. Brown believes that this educational preparation has been “a call to service.”

Dr. Brown holds an abiding affection for his alma maters and continues to serve and support them, among his many leadership roles in the community. He has served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council at Mizzou. At Washington University, Dr. Brown is a member of the Alumni Association, The Eliot Society and Washington University Parents’ Advisory Council. Dr. Brown and his wife, Shirley, are parents of Charles and Daniel Brown, both Washington University alumni and Ervin Scholars.

His advocacy for youth and belief in the transformative power of education was put to the test on a special assignment to assist the Wellston School District as its interim superintendent. Dr. Brown spent an untold number of hours with students, serving as a positive force in their lives. He exposed the students to successful role models at Washington University, through a summer program he developed that engaged members of the Ervin Scholars Program as mentors.

The Wellston Summer Program instilled in the minds and hearts of the students that higher education was attainable. Dr. Brown emphasized that a deep desire and persistence in effort were important in accomplishing their goals, and was immeasurably proud when all of the students in Wellston’s last high school graduation class applied for and were admitted to a higher education institution.

Now, retired but still serving the St. Louis Public School system, Dr. Brown mentors school principals and educators. He frequently runs into former students, who never fail to remember him fondly and share examples of how he changed their lives. As his wife Shirley Brown notes, “Charlie has been and continues to be a consummate bridge builder and door opener for others; he is a true servant leader.”