Who We Are

The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation proudly works to relieve human suffering. Under the proud and deeply dedicated leadership of American war hero D. Paul Spencer, a long-time employee and friend of the Browns, the governing body of the Foundation adopted its mission statement: Alleviate Human Suffering. Significant steps were taken to develop the direction and scope of funding. Foundation endowment funds were invested prudently and in accordance with modern portfolio theory. Committees were organized, guidelines were drafted, and application and reporting processes were developed to ensure strict compliance by grant seekers.

Through the hard work and dedication of the governing body and staff, the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation continues to contribute to the betterment of communities, alleviating human suffering, and supporting educational initiatives. 

We believe in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and developing new treatments for the sick while assisting with community benefit and human interest programs where prudent.  Grant support falls into one of these committees, each chaired by a program officer: Human Services; Medical, Health & Science; Education; Community Benefit and Conservation & Environment.

Under the Education committee, the Foundation's Education Department oversees various programs, many of which are exclusively for K-12 education initiatives with a strong preference for STEM and service learning.  The Service Learning program offers funds to schools via Service Learning Awards for K-12 classes, to link learning and intentional service to their community through an identified Service Partner. The SupportSTEM Program seeks the best plans for curriculum implementation or STEM instruction support for K-12 schools. Lastly, The Brown Foundation also sponsors the Emmy Noether Awards through it's Education Department. We seek top aspiring female research scientists in any STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) field to help realize their potential careers through financial and networking assistance. Each year, the Emmy Noether Awards will determine one gold medalist, two silver medalists, and up to 10 Emmy Noether Scholars. The gold medalist will be awarded up to $75,000 ($25,000 for each year they are in a graduate level program up to 3 years). The two silver medalists will be awarded $25,000 each for a qualified graduate level program. The Emmy Noether Scholars will join a network of young female aspiring research scientists and will be offered information on internship and networking opportunities.

Our History

Joe W. Brown and Dorothy Dorsett both came from humble beginnings. He was born on a farm on October 5, 1897 in East Texas, and she was born in a small town on March 31, 1896 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. They married in Houston on February 4, 1919, and moved to New Orleans in the 1920's. They slowly acquired wealth through astute investments in real estate and oil properties. Mr. Brown drilled a producing oil well in 1946 in Valentine Field of Lafourche Parish. It was one of the great discoveries in south Louisiana, and established Mr. Brown as one of the state's largest independent oil producers.

Their philanthropic activity regularly reached from Louisiana to Texas and often found worthy causes in Colorado, Nebraska, Kentucky and Mississippi. Most charitable endeavors during their lifetimes were anonymous. Exceptions were the shelter for the New Orleans SPCA, the Memorial Recreation Center in Joe W. Brown Park and the acreage of the park itself in eastern New Orleans.

During their lifetimes, the Browns raced thoroughbred horses, entering them at major racetracks throughout the country under signature colors - white with a black "B" and black stars. Some of their famous horses' names were: Brownie, Gigantic, Cabildo, Listcapade, El Baba and Tenacious.

After Mr. Brown's death, on February 15, 1959, Mrs. Brown devoted much of her time to building and expanding the Broadwater Beach Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. She died on October 14, 1989.

Joe W. Brown
10/05/1897 - 02/15/1959
Dorothy Dorsett Brown
03/31/1896 - 10/14/1989
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