The Celebration of Life

Donald “DB” Brown

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Rutgers University
Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering
500 Bartholomew Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

How Can You Contribute
to The Legacy of DB?

The Don Brown Book Fund was established in 2009 upon Don’s retirement to assist students who are facing acute financial situations that inhibit their ability to either attend college or whose lack of resources hinders their ability to perform in college at a level commensurate with their abilities.

Our goal is to elevate the fund to endowment status to honor his legacy. To reach this ambitious goal, we must raise $50,000 within 5 years. Once this goal is reached, the Rutgers Foundation will maintain the fund in perpetuity and student awards will be derived from the interest on the principal of the account.

If your employer offers gift matching, it is critical that you prioritize making that a part of your donation. While the fund’s principal is being established, awards can NOT be distributed so it is important we reach our goal as soon as possible and avoid losing out on any opportunities to optimize contributions. Before you proceed to the Rutgers Foundation donation page please research your company’s matching gift program to ensure maximizing the impact of your contribution.

Much like Don himself, the Don Brown Book Fund supports students in a variety of situations including academic needs (e.g., textbooks, calculators, laptops), medical needs (e.g., epi-pen, prescription glasses), travel for professional conferences, travel for crisis (e.g., death or illness in the family), and tuition or fees (as long as a student’s financial aid package is not impacted).

We hope everyone who Don has been able to impact can donate to the fund.

The Life of DB

Donald M. Brown of Westampton, New Jersey, died on May 2, 2023, at the age of 75. Don was born in Summit, New Jersey, to Neil and Muriel (Drake) Brown. The family lived in Springfield until Don was ten, then they moved to Belford, New Jersey.

Don graduated from Middletown High School, then attended Newark State College (now Kean University) with the intention of becoming an Industrial Arts teacher. After two years, he left college and was drafted into the Army. Don served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Special Forces.

Upon returning home, Don chose to continue his education at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. He enrolled as a sophomore, majoring in psychology. It was there he met his future wife, Laura, whose family had moved to St. Croix a few years earlier. They graduated in May 1974 and married in June 1974.

After moving back to New Jersey, where Don received a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), he began working at Rutgers University in the Office of Veteran’s Affairs. Don then spent the next 30 years working with the Educational Opportunity Fund program at the School of Engineering. He was a guiding influence who impacted thousands of students. After 33 years, Don retired as Associate Dean at the School of Engineering.

Don and Laura returned to St. Croix after retirement. They enjoyed sailing, swimming, and island life in general.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Nancy Helwig. He is survived by his wife Laura, brother-in-law Bob Helwig, nephew Jonathon (Katie), and great-nieces Haley and Emily. He is also survived by many cousins living throughout the country.

He also leaves behind many friends, including neighbors, the Rutgers family, and the St. Croix family.

Don will be greatly missed.

The Memories of Love