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Alum Makes Unique Gift To Psychology, History Departments

March 11, 2010  
 Filed in Campus Headlines, Headlines, Humanities

Wittenberg's Zimmerman Hall

Zimmerman Hall, home to Wittenberg's Department of Psychology

Springfield, Ohio – Recognizing the gift of a life-changing education he received from Wittenberg, Louis Meyer Brown, class of 2000 from Chicago, Ill., has committed $10,000 annually to support the university’s psychology and history departments.

Brown, vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC in Chicago, worked with his family’s foundation, the C. Louis Meyer Foundation, to provide the gift, which will be split evenly between the two departments. Founded in 1946, the foundation seeks to further public welfare through the relief of poverty and suffering, the advancement of education, the promotion of health, and the extension of the influence of religion.

“The liberal arts education Wittenberg teaches provides a basis for a well rounded and practical view on life,” Brown said. “In my studies at Wittenberg, the history and psychology departments had a meaningful impact on me and how I looked at the world. Both departments deserve praise for the education and dedication they provide to their students,” he continued. “They emphasize problem-solving and abstract thought, which are so valuable in this day and age. I look forward to seeing the departments and the university grow from the relationship with the C. Louis Meyer Family Foundation.”

The departments both plan to use the gift to extend opportunities for experiential learning with their students. The history department, for example, will now be able to further students’ understanding of “living history” and “history as it is preserved” for society through unique field trips, including one to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit in Washington, D.C.

“We want students to understand how historians find out about the past, and that is through the examination of primary source material: documents, artifacts, oral history, etc.,” said Molly Wood, associate professor of history and department chair. “Encountering ‘real,’ ‘original’ primary sources can be a very memorable event for students, and one that promotes intellectual curiosity and vision.”

Attendance at and participation in various academic conferences will also now be more accessible for students, thanks to Brown’s gift. For example, history major Amy Walp of Springfield, Ohio, recently presented an original research paper at the annual conference held by the national history honor society Phi Alpha Theta in January.

“Presenting research in a professional setting is such a rich experiential opportunity for students,” said Mary Jo Zembar, professor of psychology and department chair. “It gives them an opportunity to interact with individuals who are interested in their work, but it also allows them to see the types of research that other students and academics are conducting. It is a rewarding experience for students, and we are happy that with this gift we will be able to expand the number of students to whom we can offer this opportunity.”

For more on the history and psychology departments at Wittenberg, log on to

Written By: Karen Gerboth
Photo By: Erin Pence


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