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Cultural Resource Centers History

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead, attended DePauw in 1919

One person can make a difference: Who was Russell J. Compton?

On February 23, 2000, DePauw honored longtime educator and activist, Russell Compton by dedicating the Russell J. Compton Center for Peace and Justice.  Dr. Compton taught at DePauw from 1951 until 1974 and helped a generation of students shape their own values.  For more information about Russell and  the Compton Center, click here.

One person can make a difference: Who is Dorothy Brown?

The University's Cultural Resource Center, located at 314 East Hanna Street, is named in honor of Dorothy Brown. Born in Tennessee, Mrs. Brown moved to Greencastle in her teen years. She excelled in academics and track and received a bachelor of science degree in education and then a master of science in school administration from Indiana State University. 

Mrs. Brown was the first African-American to teach in Greencastle schools and served as principal of Ridpath School; she taught in DePauw's education department from 1986-89. Mrs. Brown was appointed the Assistant Dean of Students for Minority Affairs by DePauw President Robert Bottoms in 1986.  She is credited with being the first director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Active in many local organizations, Mrs. Brown has lectured and been discussion leader for many multicultural programs and community initiatives.  For recent alums, Dorothy is best known as the “tough love” house mother for Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.

A small group of thoughtful, committed people: What’s the story behind the AAAS House?

African-Americans were first admitted to DePauw in the 1870’s (the first Black graduate was Tucker G. Wilson in 1888), and our early history includes notable graduates such as Percy Julian ‘20—“DePauw’s most famous scientist”, and Vernon Jordan ‘57.  However, retention and full-inclusion of African-American students has been an ongoing concern in our campus history. 

In 1968, the Association of African-American Students was founded and in 1969 they issued a “manifesto”-- which included four demands, the first of which was “a black student union house”.  In response to the first demand, the university gave students temporary access to Locust Manor-- a small dorm where the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media now stands, but the building that would become the first official AAAS House was 908 S. Locust, dedicated in 1981. 

In 1988, AAAS moved to a four bedroom house on 418 Anderson Street.  A few years later (Spring 2001) AAAS had outgrown 418 Anderson and renovations to the new Rector Village created an opportunity for another move, this time to its larger, current location at 310 Hanna Street.  

A small group of thoughtful, committed people: What’s the story behind the identity/affinity spaces at the Dorothy Brown Cultural Resource Center?

In 1998, a group of student activists founded the Student Coalition for Awareness, Revolution and Education (S.C.A.R.E.) formed to address concerns among members of the Independent Council, Association of African-American Students, and United DePauw. In 1999, SCARE expanded to include the Coalition for Women’s Concerns (which would later become FMLA and Feminista!), The Hawaii Club, ASIA Club, Hispanos Unidos (which would later be named the Committee for Latino Concerns) and requested group housing in Anderson Street Hall. 

The floor lounges became meeting rooms for United DePauw (Queer Center), CLC (Latina/o Lounge), CWC (Gender Room & Resource Library or GRRL Room), and Hawaii Club (currently, Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative, AAPI) &ASIA Club (Asian American Resource Center).  In Fall 2004, the DePauw University Women’s Center was founded and became the repository of the materials from the GRRL Room.  Four years later, the Queer Center, CLC space and PanAsia were relocated to individual apartments in a five unit apartment building which was renovated and named in honor of grassroots activist and community leader, Dorothy Brown.  Students were hired to live in the apartments and serve as “Resident Interns”-- responsible for providing programming and building oversight.  

In 2010, the International Student Center—a space dedicated for student use, began calling the first floor of Dorothy Brown “home”.  For more information on International Student Services, click here.