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Louis Stanley Brown: The University’s First African American Graduate

Louis Stanley Brown

Louis Stanley Brown, the first African-American graduate of The University of Scranton, then St. Thomas College, earned his commercial degree in 1919. Prior to matriculation, he attended St. Cecilia’s Academy in Scranton. After graduation, he worked as a shoe shiner, a laborer in the coal mines and, later, for G.W. Brown, a local trucking company.

Brown, who grew up in Scranton and lived here most of his life, was one of five children born to Henry and Sarah C. Brown. According to an issue of the Aquinas published during his graduation year, he was “ambitious and industrious” and had “enjoyable wit and good will.”

He died at the age 62 and is buried in the Cathedral cemetery in Scranton.

Read More About Louis Stanley Brown: The Aquinas 1919

In 2016, the University dedicated a building in honor of Louis Stanley Brown. Located at 600 Linden Street, Brown Hall was named and blessed at a ceremony on Feb. 18, 2016, as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration. University of Scranton graduate Yohuru Williams G’93, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut, was the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony.

About Louis Stanley Brown Hall

Brown Hall

Built in 1896, Louis Stanley Brown Hall is an example of a transitional phase of commercial architecture that took place in Scranton at the end of the 19th century. Brown Hall exemplifies both the Classical Revival and Commercial Style of architecture with reduced exterior ornamentation and large expanses of glass, which was a style less prevalent in buildings constructed in downtown Scranton until the 1920s.

The University of Scranton acquired the building in 2012. It currently houses the Enrollment Management and External Affairs and University Advancement divisions, and the University’s Small Business Development Center.