Dr. George Brown, the former dean of the College of Forestry, passed away peacefully on June 9 surrounded by his family.

George arrived at Oregon State University in 1964 as a Ph.D. graduate student studying forest hydrology and began his College of Forestry teaching and research career in 1966. In 1973, he was appointed head of the Forest Engineering Department and in 1986 he became Associate Dean for Research. In total, he was a faculty member or administrator at Oregon State University for 32 years, retiring in 1999 as Dean of the College of Forestry, a position he held for 10 years.

As Dean, George encouraged the kind of systems-based, collaborative and inter-disciplinary research the college continues today. He pushed faculty members to work across organizational and institutional boundaries and transformed the Oregon State College of Forestry into the leading recipient of grants and contracts among the nation’s forestry schools before his retirement. George was also actively involved in the Corvallis community, volunteering and fundraising for community service organizations including Community Outreach and the Boys and Girls Club. After retirement from the college, George stayed in regular contact with many in the community. The logging sports arena in the Peavy Arboretum is proudly named after him.

George Brown left an amazing legacy at the College of Forestry. The work and research we pursue on a daily basis is built on those who came before us, and George’s 32 years of incredible contributions are of immeasurable value.

George is survived by his wife Joan, daughters Christen Maier, Annie Brown Kurowski, son in law, Brad Maier, three grandchildren, sister Sally Presson, nieces Kim Blaes, Amy Presson and nephews Don and Matt Presson.

A celebration of life is scheduled for July 21st at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church and is open to the public. The college will also hold a celebration of life for George in the fall.

The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence & Innovation in the College of Forestry or the George W Brown Scholarship Endowment through the Oregon State University Foundation. Donations also can be made online at fororegonstate.org. Please note “in memory of George W Brown” on the memo line or in the online giving form. The family also suggests memorials may be made to Community Outreach or the Corvallis First United Methodist Church Foundation.

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One thought on “Emeritus Dean George Brown leaves amazing legacy

  1. “We will make you a bona-fide engineer out of you!”

    I am very moved by the passing on of George Brown as I remember him very fondly. He encouraged me in my masters program in Forest Engineering. Engineering was totally new to me as my first degree was in Forestry. I still remember his words to me: “We will make you a bona-fide engineer out of you!” I am grateful for the inspiration and encouragement he was to me. As the only international student in Forest Engineering then, he had invited me several times into his home for dinner with his family. I cherish those years at the College of Forestry, OSU. My deepest condolences to Joan and family.


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