Providence, R.I. – The Greater Providence Alumni (Mal Brown) Club of the National Alumni Association will be honoring Mal Brown ’33, athletic trainer and fixture of the Providence College community, who died in 1939 at the age of 34. A formal dedication of a headstone will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011at St. Dominic Chapel, on campus. (The headstone will be installed at his burial site in Amherst, Massachusetts, at a later date.)
A mass will begin at 2:00 p.m. in St. Dominic Chapel. Following the mass and dedication, a reception will immediately follow in the Campus Ministry Center.
Brown was born in 1905 in Amherst, Mass., and began his collegiate career at Connecticut State College. He soon decided to move on to Providence College, where he would spend the next six years. He once said he wanted to stay at PC for as long as he lived. It was at Providence where he converted to Catholicism and where he took nothing more serious than his faith
Mal was always seen enjoying life, walking around with a smile on his face and laughing whenever he could. His trademark was his derby hat, which he wore just about everywhere.
He was there for every athlete, on the sidelines for every game. It was said that there “was no better or quicker trainer.” He was accepted as one of the gang by all the players and coaches and was often in their company even if there were no sports being played.
Mal contracted the typhus germ in the fall of 1939, and this was one opponent he could not overcome. While he was sick, the PC phones rang off the hook as everyone in the community was concerned about their beloved trainer’s welfare. Despite all the prayers, Mal succumbed to the disease at noon on October 19, 1939, after a three-and-a-half-week battle.
Mal was waked at Harkins Hall, and the mecca of PC education fell silent during that time. There were 1,800 people at Mal’s funeral, where he was eulogized as “the pinnacle of what PC is all about: Humanity.”
Mal spent his life in service to all Providence College’s athletes and asked very little in return. Service, loyalty, and caring were what he was all about. In 1956, the Providence College National Alumni Association officially recognized the Greater Providence Chapter of the PC National Alumni Association as the “Mal Brown Club.”