Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:20 PM
DURHAM -- Educator, civil rights activist and community leader Rose Butler Browne will be recognized with a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker April 2 at 11 a.m. in Durham, at Glennview Memorial Park, at the intersection of Highway 55 and Riddle Road.
Browne amassed a lifetime of achievement in education, including being the first black female to graduate from Rhode Island College (now the University of Rhode Island) and the first to receive a doctorate in education from Harvard University. The Boston native began a distinguished career in education at North Carolina Central University in 1948.
As chair of what was then North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, Brown oversaw the addition of a three story education building, led the college to accreditation with the National Council of the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and established the state's first doctorate in education program.
When Brown refused to place teachers from her institution in schools in West Virginia because of discriminatory pay practices, she won national attention. The resulting teacher shortage caused West Virginia to revise its pay policy. Brown was involved with organizations including Girl Scouts, Young Women's Christian Association and the N.C. Federation of Negro Women's Clubs. She was Mid-Atlantic Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (the nation's oldest black sorority) and oversaw organization of new chapters throughout the region.
Gov. Terry Sanford appointed Browne to a committee studying the needs of North Carolina's mentally challenged children. She was recognized in 1963 for "outstanding service as a teacher, leader and scholar" with a Hamilton Watch Award. In 1963 she co-authored with James W. English her autobiography, "Love My Children: The Education of a Teacher." She was awarded several honorary degrees and Rose Butler Browne Hall on the campus of the University of Rhode Island campus is named for her. She died in 1986.
For additional information about the Highway Marker program, please call (919) 807-7290. The Highway Marker program is collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The program is within the Office of Archives and History in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
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N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
109 East Jones Street MSC 4601 | Raleigh, NC 27699-4601
Phone: (919) 807-7300 | Fax: (919) 733-1620
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