Honoring lady falls brown.
Lady Falls Brown, who has contributed in major ways to the profession of writing centers through her scholarship and her work as the listserv owner who started and maintains WCenter, is retiring in September, 2003. To honor her equally impressive work as Director of the Texas Tech University's Writing Center which has spanned nearly two decades. several members of the English Department, led by Director Kathleen Gillis, are working to establish an endowment in her honor. A minimum endowment at Texas Tech is $10,000. This endowment would be the first of its kind in the nation to honor a writing center director and would illustrate the university's enduring commitment to and support of the vital work that occurs daily in the writing center.
On July 22, 2003, a reception in her honor was held in the University Writing Center where the endowment effort was announced. If you would like to assist, please make checks payable to the Texas Tech Foundation, Inc. for the Lady Brown Endowment. They should be mailed to the following person:
Todd W. Rasberry, Senior Development Officer
College of Arts and Sciences
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas 79409-1034
If you have any questions about the Endowment, please e-mail Susan M. Lang (Susan.Lang@ttu.edu) or Kathleen Gillis (Kathleen.Gillis@ttu.edu).
Lady Falls Brown--A writing center legend
Lady's writing center career began in 1982. As Jeannette Harris, the founding director of the Writing Center at Texas Tech and recently-retired director of the Writing Center at Texas Christian University, said, "I had been at Texas Tech only a few days when Lady showed up at my office and announced that she was one of the graduate students assigned to tutor in the Writing Center I had been hired to establish. From that moment on, her enthusiasm for writing centers was obvious. Later she became director of the Writing Center at Texas Tech and, with her great energy and vision, developed it into a university-wide program known for its innovative use of technology and its service to public school students in remote rural areas of West Texas. And, of course, in her spare time she established and managed WCenter, which has played a major role in connecting the world-wide writing center community."
From 1982-1986 Lady was a writing center tutor at Texas Tech. In 1988 she became the interim director, and in 1989 was appointed as director. In 1991, with the help of Fred Kemp, she established the WCenter listserv, which continues to serve as a primary communication medium of the writing center community. WCenter, an electronic bulletin board for people interested in writing center theory and practice, has 1100 members in the United States, Canada, Europe, the MidEast, and New Zealand. Lady remains list owner and sponsor. In 1994, Lady received the National Writing Centers Association Award for Outstanding Service for WCenter.
In 2000, again partnering with Fred Kemp, Lady set the University Writing Center on an ambitious project to provide writing help for 4th-grade and 8th-grade students in Texas rural public schools. The project, known as the "Texas Tech/K-12 Instructional Partnership with Schools" (TIPS), lasted two years and served hundreds of students in dozens of Texas schools. For this service, Lady Brown and the University Writing Center at Texas Tech were awarded the 2001 Texas Higher Education STAR Award, one of only five such awards given that year. Lady has also served as South Central Writing Centers Association representative to the National Writing Centers Association and has served as a member at large to the NWCA.
Sam Dragga, chair of the Texas Tech English department, in summarizing her work describes her as "a teacher, a scholar, a genuine pioneer." Brown says, "My writing center philosophy [is]: Some people are born writers; then, there are the rest of us. My purpose has been to help people become aware of the conventions of their specific discourse community so they can succeed in their field." When told of the various ways she is being honored now, she stated, "How nice! I swear; nothing has become my career like the leaving thereof!" Now, as she awaits the birth of her first grandchild in September, Lady plans to take university courses, travel, work on the ranch that she and Bo own, and enjoy her granddaughter--among many other things, no doubt. Lady Falls Brown's entire career, but especially her work at Texas Tech, can be described as a life well lived, a service well rendered, and a job well done. God bless you, Lady, for all you have done for so many. We will miss you.
Editor's note: Because of space limitations, only a portion of Tim Hadley's essay appears here. The full text is available on their Writing Center's Web site: <http://english.ttu.edu/uwc01>.
Texas Tech University