The entire Columbia community mourned the Aug. 2015 death of Sherman Brown, Jr., and the seniors in Special Education (SPED) were no different. As his obituary noted, among his many community-oriented and business efforts, Brown often mentored at-risk youth and used his infectious, generous, and larger-than-life personality to make an impact on their lives.
The SPED students decided to raise money for the Sherman Brown Scholarship, which benefits one Columbia Public School senior per high school. Through a variety of methods, SPED seniors were able to raise more than $1,200.
“My students discussed different community organizations that work to support individuals with special needs and then chose to raise money for the Sherman Brown Scholarship,” said Melissa Stormont, professor. “My students did not know Sherman personally but, even after his death, Sherman spoke to people. They selected his scholarship fund because he impacted so many and that’s a true testament to a remarkable person.”
During a special private ceremony in January 2017, Stormont and Kathryn Chval, Dean of the MU College of Education, had a special funds presentation with Brown’s daughter, Whitney Moore, an AVID educator in the Columbia Public Schools; Moore’s mother, Vicki Brown, and Malakhi Moore, Sherman Brown’s grandson.
“I saw an award interview video of Sherman and it moved me,” said Chval. “I wish every human approached the world like Sherman Brown. It is very clear that his influence on his daughter was profound and contributed to her amazing disposition as an educator.”
“I know my dad would be speechless about this gift and everything the SPED class has done,” said Moore. “It is an honor to be his daughter and see how many lives he has touched.”