Colleagues and friends in the Office of International Programs (OIP) established this award in honor and memory of William Malcolm Brown, Jr. for the countless contributions he made to the science of plant pathology though his research, teaching, and service, especially outside the United States. The first award was given at the 2007 APS Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. Preference for this award is given to students who work on a problem that impacts the developing world.
William Malcolm Brown, Jr., professor of plant pathology in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University (CSU) for 25 years, passed away on January 27, 2003. Bill was born on June 20, 1935, in Hastings, NE. He is described by all who knew him as one of the most upbeat and positive individuals they ever met. Bill was known for his zest for life and jazz and for his witty sense of humor. To humanity, plant pathology, and hundreds of students and colleagues worldwide, his contributions were numerous and profound.
Bill received his A.A. degree in agriculture from Modesto Junior College in 1955. Bill’s professional passion took hold with his B.S. degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis (1957) and his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from Oregon State University (1965). He worked in Nigeria, Thailand, South Korea, and Bolivia before “settling down a bit” in 1980 at CSU as professor of plant pathology and cooperative extension IPM coordinator. He then served as international extension coordinator and faculty advisor for the Peace Corps and taught courses and guest lectured at CSU, nationally, and internationally (Mexico, North Yemen, Albania, Guinea Bissau, Palestine, Iran, Hungary, and Romania). He had a passion for teaching plant pathology and the philosophy of integrated pest management and addressed audiences as diverse as farmers, golf course superintendents, and schoolchildren.
Bill contributed his vision and energy to numerous activities in APS. During his last five years alone, he chaired the North American Potato Late Blight Workshop; vigorously promoted the APS Office of International Programs (OIP); was president of the APS Pacific Division; chaired the International Library Assistance Program of OIP; coordinated the collection and donation of plant pathology journals and textbooks to numerous libraries overseas; procured more than $4 million in surplus medical equipment and supplies for Ukraine, Hungary, and Romania; and served on national committees addressing issues and policies dealing with crop biosecurity.
Bill was an internationally recognized and highly respected researcher, particularly for his work on small grain diseases. This was acknowledged by an invitation to speak at the First Central and West Asia and North African Yellow Rust Conference held in Iran in 2001. His work on barley stripe rust received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Paper at the Master Brewers Association of the Americas convention in 1996, and in 2000, Bill was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the APS Pacific Division.
Bill was recognized as a Distinguished Educator by the Rocky Mountain Plant Food and Agrochemical Association, as a Mortar Board Outstanding Professor by CSU, and for his service to agriculture by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Throughout the course of his long career, Bill also received the Epsilon Sigma Phi International Extension Award from the Western Region and Colorado State University, an International University Teaching Abroad Grant from Rotary International, and a Citation for Outstanding Service from the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture. He was instrumental in the creation and served as codirector of the Center for Crop Biosecurity.
Bill mentored, counseled, befriended, pushed, and helped many in APS become respected plant pathologists. His colleagues view these productive people as the greatest accomplishment and long-lasting legacy of Bill’s successful career. Bill thrived on family and friends, international travel, classical music, and jazz. His idea of a perfect evening included great food, good wine, live music, and dining surrounded by friends old and new from all cultures, preferably in a garden afflicted with an unusual disease!