The Sterling College community mourns the loss of board chair emeritus Marvin Brown, of Craftsbury Common, Vermont, who passed away on October 18, 2019. Marvin was a great friend and supporter of the College, its students and its community. 

Marvin began his service on the Board of Trustees in 1984 and acted as chair from 1986-1991, and then again as chair in 1994-95. Marvin received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College in May of 2016. “We are deeply grateful for Marvin’s leadership and his unwavering enthusiasm for Sterling College,” said Matthew Derr, Sterling College president. “His contributions will have a forever impact on the campus.”

Marvin’s time as the chair of the board was influential to the path that led to the Sterling of today. Under his leadership, Sterling became a fully accredited two-year college. Marvin oversaw the building of the McCarthy Barns and the Brown Library. Marvin supplied the lumber from his land and led the fundraising campaign for the library project. This energy and determination led to the library being named for him upon its completion in 1991.

In his professional life, Marvin made his career in New York City in the investment business. In more recent decades, he made his home in Craftsbury Common with his wife Linda, who passed away in 2016.

Marvin’s ties to Craftsbury and Sterling run deep. Marvin’s daughter, Farley Brown ‘85, is an alumna of Sterling College, and also a long-time faculty member in Ecology. Farley and her partner, fellow alumnus John Zaber ‘85, Faculty of Outdoor Education, raised their daughter Constance in Craftsbury Common.

On Saturday, October 19, upon learning of Marvin’s passing, the Sterling College Board of Trustees expressed deep thanks and gratitude for all of the years and efforts of service that Marvin gave to Sterling College with a unanimous resolution at their Autumn Board Meeting. “The College benefited greatly from Marvin’s wisdom and experience,” said board chair Pete Chehayl P ‘06. “His dedication to Sterling and the Craftsbury community serves as an example for all of us, and he will be missed.”

Sterling College Library covered in snow

Read more about the construction of the Brown Library in this collection of articles from past Sterling newsletters selected from the archives by Library Director Petra Vogel.


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