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Jane Brown, Former Admissions Dean, ‘Set an Example…That Continues Today’

black and white photo of Jane Brown seated at desk with bookcase and electric typewriter behind her.
Jane Brown at work at Emerson, in an undated photo. Photo/Emerson College Archives

Jane Brown, a longtime clinical instructor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and admissions administrator for the College died Saturday, August 28, following a battle with ovarian cancer.

“Jane was quick to smile, quick to laugh, and came to every meeting better prepared than anyone else,” recalled Interim President Bill Gilligan, who worked with Brown during the 1990s, when Gilligan was an associate vice president for information technology and Brown was dean of admissions.

A trained speech pathologist, Brown joined Emerson in 1976 and served 10 years as a clinical associate in Communication Disorders before migrating to an administrative role, as director of admissions. She became dean of admissions in 1990, and led the College’s enrollment strategy throughout the 1990s.

“She set an example for Emerson that continues today, by setting us on a disciplined course of data-driven enrollment decisions that have served us so well for so many years,” Gilligan said.

Gilligan said he learned a great deal from Brown when he was making his own move from faculty to administration.

“Jane was a great friend and a wonderful colleague,” he said. “I often think fondly of the years I spent working with Jane and will miss her dearly.”

Following her more than two decades at Emerson, Brown went on to serve as vice president of enrollment management at Mount Holyoke College and Northeastern University, according to her obituary.

“Her legacy at Emerson, Mount Holyoke, and Northeastern includes building accomplished student bodies with diverse academic interests from all walks of life, and a deep commitment to increasing opportunities for student from underserved community,” the obituary reads.

She leaves her husband of 50 years, Steve Brown; children Jessie and Noah; grandchildren Ben, Leif, Nina, Janie “Yaya”, and Nick, among other loving family and friends.

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