October 12, 2017 — A generous gift from the estate of a 1938 Mound High School graduate will go toward helping Mound Westonka High School students pay for college. The $1.25 million donation by the late Col. William Brown is the largest student scholarship donation from a private donor in the district’s history.
Brown was an active member of his high school class, participating in the chorus, band, orchestra, class play and yearbook. He was also on the basketball team and was a cheerleader. Brown went on to have a distinguished career in the military, joining the U.S. Army in 1941 and serving as a pilot in both WWII and the Korean War. He earned 23 awards during his military career and was promoted to colonel in 1969.
Photos from the 1938 Mound High School yearbook
Brown and his wife, Mary, retired to Olympia, Washington and traveled extensively prior to Mary’s death in 1989. Brown moved into a retirement community in 2014 and passed away of pneumonia on Sept. 30, 2015, just days short of his 96th birthday.
“Col. Brown’s story is one of faith in mankind,” said Westonka Superintendent Kevin Borg. “He had a career of sacrifice, risking his life to protect the freedoms of people he would never meet. Similarly, he chose to use a large portion of his life savings to advance the lives of students he would never meet.”
Borg noted that in his conversations with the benefactor prior to his death, Brown made it clear that he was not interested in propagating his legacy. “He wanted to make sure his contributions helped children continue to advance this great nation we live in,” said Borg. “This level of sacrifice, conviction and trust is more than admirable—it is inspiring.”
Brown’s gift will be administered by the Westonka District 277 Foundation, which provides grant funding for valuable learning experiences and projects each year.