University Library

Introduction by John Moore

Among the greatest honors bequeathed to this University was the tenure of Cecil Brown, who, after one of the most dramatic professional careers in the country's history, completed his life's work teaching on this campus. For ten wonderful years Cecil's great heart, expansive memory and native teaching talent enthralled students and colleagues alike.

On Thursday, November 5, 1987, a strickingly beautiful Fall day, several of Cecil's friends met in Cal Poly's Rose garden to remember him. The morning had witnessed a rain storm, and the early afternoon would bring an unusually heavy downpour. But between 11 a.m. and noon, the clouds parted to provide an intimate and appropriate setting for our ce!ebration. Martha Brown had driven out from Westwood, and a number of people spoke at the ceremony. Walter Coombs fondly remembered Cecil's many contributions to the Department of Social Sciences, and history professor Ralph Shaffer told a humorous and poignant story of his own searches for copies of Cecil's famous book, Suez to Singapore. Others wrote out their remembrances and comments, and these are contained in this short volume.

While there is always sadness at the passing of a close friend, in the case of Cecil Brown there is also an unusual joy in having been graced by his presence. Those of us who knew him will savor the memory of his decade among us and the memory of the special memorial recorded herein.