School Honors Scholars in Law Recipients and Donors; Brown Receives Dean’s Medal

Mel Brown, right, receives the Dean’s Medal from Dean Kent Syverud

Mel F. Brown, AB ’57, JD ’61, received the Dean’s Medal from Dean Kent Syverud at the law school’s Scholars in Law Celebration. The annual event brings together scholarship recipients and donors.  

The Dean’s Medal is the highest honor a dean can bestow. Selected entirely by the dean, the award recipient is recognized for his or her extraordinary contributions to the law school, including inspiring others and enhancing the school’s progress. Since its creation in 1995, seven others recipients have been awarded the Dean’s Medal. 

At the Scholars in Law Program, Dean Syverud thanked the many donors present and acknowledged, in particular, donors of new endowed scholarships, annual fund scholarships, and a new perpetual scholarship. Remarks also were made by Brown and by law student Jaran Moten. Additionally, members of the St. Louis Children's Choirs performed. 

Members of the St. Louis Children’s Choir perform

A founding member of the National Council, Brown is a longtime supporter of the law school. He initiated and personally funded the Mel Brown Family Loan Repayment Assistance Program to address the debt burden for those pursuing a legal career of public service. Additionally, he has long supported law students through the Mel and Pamela Brown Scholar in Law scholarship. Brown also funded a named scholarship at the Olin School of Business in memory of his late wife, Jacqueline Hirsch Brown, AB ’63.  

Brown served on Washington University’s Board of Trustees from 1999-2002; was executive vice chair and chair of the Alumni Board of Governors; and has been president of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society, as well as the Eliot Society Executive Committee, serving three years as National Patrons Chair. He received the law school’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996, the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, and the Founder’s Day Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. 

Maury and Lorrie Poscover, who are helping to head the law school’s Scholarship Initiative, with a Scholar in Law recipient

Chairman of Triad Bancshares, Brown is the retired chairman of Founders Bancshares and a former president and CEO of Deutsche Financial Services, a unit of Germany’s largest bank, with world headquarters in St. Louis. He also was president and chief executive of ITT Commercial Finance, and under his leadership the company grew to become the largest in its industry.   

Brown is well known in St. Louis for his community service efforts. Although Washington University has always been one of his most cherished endeavors, he has served on countless other boards such as the Missouri Historical Society, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Forest Park Forever, Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Whitaker Charitable Foundation.