William Brown To Receive Honorary Degree From Limestone College

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 8:45am
William Brown

Gaffney native and Limestone Board of Trustee member William Brown will be recognized on Thursday, May 7, with an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Limestone College.

Brown will be honored by Limestone particularly for his philanthropic support of the College and his service on the Board of Trustees.

The Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree will be bestowed upon Brown during Thursday’s Day Campus commencement exercises that begin at 4 p.m. at Fullerton Auditorium.

“For all of his time, talents and resources devoted to bettering our world, our country, and our community, we are so pleased to award William Brown with this honorary Doctor of Public Service degree,” said Dr. Walt Griffin, President of Limestone. “He continues to be a loyal Trustee, benefactor, and friend. He has exhibited an outstanding commitment to Limestone and the Upstate of South Carolina.”

A Gaffney High School graduate and a long-time Greenville resident, Brown graduated from The Citadel in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, after serving his country in the United States Navy from 1964-1968. 

He began his long and successful career in Accountancy and Financial Planning in 1971. After starting a CPA firm, in 1977 he was one of the first persons in the nation to earn the board specialization as a Personal Financial Specialist from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In 1995, he established Family Legacy, Inc., an investment advisory firm, for which he continues to serve as CEO Emeritus. 

In addition to his career in business, Brown has devoted himself to projects for bettering his community, especially in the field of education. From 2008 through 2014, he served as a trustee for the Greenville Technical College Foundation. Since 2012, he has served on the Board of Trustees for Limestone, which named him 2013 Philanthropist of the Year. He also initiated two major challenges for Limestone’s current capital campaign, “Today’s Needs…Tomorrow’s Dreams.” The first challenge raised $2.25 million for athletic facilities; the second challenge raised $3 million for the new library. Brown is currently the Chair of Limestone’s Strategic Planning Committee, a group committed to working with others to define and plan for the future success of Limestone.

Since 1999, Brown has served as President and Trustee of the Campbell Young Leaders program, created by the late Bob and Betsy Campbell to help underserved children achieve their potential.  Like the Campbells, Brown believes in the success of every child, and this belief has served as the core of his passionate commitment to and lifelong advocacy for education. In 2010, he founded Legacy Charter School in Greenville. Legacy provides an innovative, K-12 education for underserved students based on a foundation of academic excellence, fitness, and nutrition.  It is the only public school in South Carolina that provides physical education for every student every day. 

As Chairman of the school’s board of directors, he takes an active role in the school’s vision to see every child to and through college graduation. Fred Crawford, the school’s executive director, described Mr. Brown’s commitment and vision in creating Legacy Charter School in these terms: “It usually takes one person with courage to make a difference. William had the courage and will to do it.”

Brown’s community service extends beyond education. He has also served the Upstate arts community.  From 2007 to 2013 he served on the Board of Trustees for the Peace Center of Performing Arts in Greenville. From 2005 through 2010 he served on the Greenville Symphony Orchestra Board.  He has also touched the lives of the many young people on the basketball teams he has coached over the years.

Brown and his wife Karen have been married for 46 years, and they have four children and four grandchildren.