Memorial Live Stream

The memorial for Mel Brown will be streamed live, beginning October 23rd at 11:00 am CST.


In Memoriam: Melvin (Mel) F. Brown
June 4, 1935 – September 1, 2020

Mel Brown was a cherished community leader, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and longtime supporter of Washington University. Raised in Carlinville, Illinois by his mother, Mel was proud of his humble roots and came by his strong work ethic honestly. With the help of an ROTC scholarship, he earned his bachelor’s degree from WashU in 1957. He went on to earn his JD from the School of Law in 1961, and was a founding member of WashULaw’s national council (now called the board of advisors).

Mel went on to have a highly successful legal career. He served as president and CEO of Deutsche Financial Services, a unit of Germany’s largest bank, which had its world headquarters in St. Louis. He was also president and chief executive officer of ITT Commercial Finance before Deutsche Bank acquired the company in 1995. He also later served as chairman of both Founders Bank and Triad Bancorp.

To address the debt burden for students pursuing a legal career in public service, Mel initiated and personally funded the Mel Brown Family Loan Repayment Assistance Program. He also supported law school faculty in recent years by funding the Mel and Pamela Brown Family Visiting Scholar(s), and made provisions to ultimately create an endowment to fund the Mel and Pamela Brown Visiting Professorship. Washington University honored him for his accomplishments and contributions, first as a Distinguished Alumnus of the School of Law in 1996, and then as a Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2002. Mel was also recognized as a distinguished alumnus of the University and recipient of the Founder’s Day Award in 2008.

Led by a commitment to generosity, Mel’s involvement in the St. Louis community continued throughout his life. He was very dedicated to the Missouri Historical Society, the Missouri Foundation for Health, Forest Park Forever, and the Whitaker Charitable Foundation, supporting the arts, education, and medical research.

Mel had a profoundly positive impact on our community and those around him. He will be dearly missed.