Mary Brownell Named Humanitarian of the Year

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A non-profit organization, Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL), has named Madam Mary Brownell as its ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ for her outstanding public service record in Liberia.

Speaking at the program over the weekend at Madam Brownell’s residence on upper Ashmun Street, Francis B. Collins, Sr., secretary general of CSNL, said the organization was delighted to bestow the honor on Mother Brownell for her many contributions to national development.

“You have performed significant acts of a humanitarian nature including demonstrating a generosity of spirit and dedication to the betterment of people in need. You have enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and society; contributing to institutions and individuals.”

In response, Mother Brownell thanked the organization for recognizing her contributions to national development and naming her ‘Humanitarian of the Year 2016’.

“I want to thank my children, other family members, friends and institutions that worked with me to help me achieve this honor. Special thanks to CSNL for this distinction. It brings happiness and honor to me,” she said.

Madam Brownell’s educational sojourn began at the Suehn Baptist Mission in the then Bomi Territory (now Bomi County) in 1937 when women were not yet in the mainstream of education. Following the completion of her primary education, she enrolled at the high school division of Liberia College, known as Laboratory High School, and Martha Tubman Academy, where she obtained her high school diploma.

With a passion for teaching, she pursued studies in education and first obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Teacher’s College, University of Liberia, and later a Master’s from San Francisco State College (now University). She started teaching at the St. Patrick’s School and later became principal of the Botswain School.

She also served as an administrator at the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS), the Catholic School System and the Bong Mines School in Bong County. Hers was a life passionately dedicated to teaching.

Mother Brownell, now 86, is retired and not often seen at public gatherings. She was born on March 12, 1929, in Cavalla, Maryland County.

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