Casey Foundation Establishes Scholarship at WC for Kent County Students
Philanthropist Betty Brown Casey ’47 honors Annie Brown Coleman, a longtime staffer in the President’s Office, with a $1 million endowed scholarship.
Chestertown, MD: President Sheila Bair announced today that the Eugene B. Casey Foundation, one of Washington College’s most generous benefactors over the past three decades, has created a $1 million endowed scholarship fund in honor of Annie Brown Coleman, the Kent County native who has served as executive assistant to seven College presidents.
Betty Brown Casey ’47, who has chaired the Casey Foundation since her husband’s death in 1986, became acquainted with Annie Coleman when she began working in the President’s office in 1983. For the past 32 years, Mrs. Coleman has been an invaluable executive assistant to sitting presidents as she has overseen handling of the Presidents’ phone calls, calendars, correspondence, and communications with members of the Board of Visitors and Governors, students, parents, community members, and donors.
Mrs. Coleman said that she was “deeply touched” by Mrs. Casey’s decision to endow a scholarship for local students in her name. “This scholarship will give many generations of deserving Kent County students opportunities they would not otherwise have had. Washington College is a special place, and I want it to be broadly accessible, particularly to those in my home community.”
Mrs. Casey, who joined the College’s Board in 1973 and continues to serve as an emeritus member, struck up a friendship with Mrs. Coleman who answered the phone when she called to discuss college business or to confirm social engagements with a long line of Presidents. “We share a lot of great memories about the College,” Coleman says.
Mrs. Casey’s generosity to her alma mater has been longstanding, providing essential support for renovating existing buildings and constructing new facilities to provide space for the arts, academics, technology instruction, and swimming.
In 1984, the Casey’s pledged $5 million to build the indoor swimming facility on campus, and they entirely funded the construction of the Casey Academic Center, as well as the purchase and renovation of other buildings on campus including the Rose O’Neill Literary House and Brown Cottage. Last year, the Casey Foundation provided the funds to expand and renovate the swim center that first opened in 1985.
Aid for students has also been a central part of Mrs. Casey’s generous philanthropy. She endowed the Eugene B. Casey Medal in her husband’s honor, and has established and supported endowed scholarships now valued at more than $10 million. In addition, she has created the W. James Price Chair in Business Management.
The Annie Brown Coleman Scholarship will be awarded to a student “of impeccable character” from Kent County, Maryland. Mrs. Casey has requested that Annie participate in choosing the scholarship recipient as long as she is able.
A graduate of Chestertown High School, Mrs. Coleman has served as president of the Chestertown High School Alumni Association since its inception in 1997 and represented her classmates at the recent groundbreaking for the College’s new academic building, now under construction on the site of the old high school. She and her husband, Dudley, are also Washington College parents—their son Brian graduated in 1994 with a degree in chemistry. Another son, Lawrence, lives in Minnesota. In her free time, Annie enjoys spending time with her family, which now includes ten grandchildren.
“The scholarship we are announcing today pays tribute to two outstanding women who have played major roles in the history of Washington College,” said President Bair. “Each in their own way has contributed to the grace and beauty of our campus, and our culture of support and caring for our students. We owe them both huge debts of gratitude.”