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From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
Brown Bear awards
The Brown Bear Awards for notable alumni service were created in 1940 by the Brown Club of New York, which had the trophy designed and made awards for three years. The first awards were made to Moses L. Crossley ’09, Karl D. Gardner ’13, and John H. Morrissey ’09. During World War II no awards were made, and in 1946 the Associated Alumni, with the permission of the Brown Club took over the sponsorship of the award. The six-inch bronze bear statuettes bear inscriptions that proclaim the recipients, in the words of the University Charter “duly qualify’d for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation.” While the award came as a surprise to many recipients, that was especially so in 1962 because the recipients, who were the Alumni Secretary and the Editor of the Brown Alumni Monthly, usually privy to advance information about the awards, had been told that there would be none that year. In honor of the Bicentennial, a record number of Brown Bears, ten, were awarded. The Brown Alumni Monthly headed its article on this special event “A Bicentennial Battalion of Bears.” The use of the group name, “a sleuth of bears,” would have spoiled the alliteration. The first woman to receive a Brown Bear Award was Doris Hopkins Stapelton ’28 in 1972. The president of the Associated Alumni made a special appearance at the Alumnae Dinner to present it.
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.