Heart of gold
A certain mystery surrounds the late Murray Brown (PhD ’75, Clinical Psychology), a respected therapist who dedicated his life to working with at-risk individuals.
The details of his fruitful career and his work with institutions like the Royal Ottawa Hospital, a federal penitentiary in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and the Kenora [Ontario] Association for Community Living, are well known. However, little is known about the reasons why this alumnus made a generous future gift to the University of Ottawa.
“Murray was quite smart, but very shy. He was obviously extremely grateful for the support and education he got at the University of Ottawa,” said Alan Freeman, his cousin and the administrator of Murray’s estate.
At the University of Ottawa’s School of Psychology, Murray Brown’s legacy is the first link in a long chain of benefits that will continue to grow long after his passing.
The Dr. Murray Brown Psychology Student Experience Fund financially supports various activities organized by or for psychology students at the University of Ottawa, including mental health and wellness initiatives, conferences, workshops on brain health, and introductory activities for high school students. The Fund is already having an extensive ripple effect: every year, it benefits hundreds of individuals, ranging from students to community members, young and old.
The funded activities are always evidence-based and often encompass some form of outreach.
“I think Murray would really like this. [As a donor,] you want to do something that really adds value,” said Freeman, who worked with the School of Psychology to find the best way of structuring his cousin’s planned gift.
“Murray was not a wealthy man. It shows you that you don’t have to be a wealthy person to actually make a mark,” he added. “And it should be an inspiration for other people, from Psychology or any department, to show that you can make a difference.”