Honoring 100 for the 100th: Grace Browning

Image of Grace BrowningGrace A. Browning was an early graduate of the School of Social Service (BA, 1925). Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma, she joined the United Providence Association of Oklahoma City. She was later associate director of a special placement bureau for physically handicapped children for the American Red Cross in St Louis. She went on to complete her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Chicago, where she also became involved in teaching duties. Later she was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh and Tulane.

While at Tulane, Miss Browning was loaned to the state of Oklahoma where she served as assistant director of the new state department of public welfare and aided in the organization of the department. At that time (mid 1930’s) she also taught courses at the OU School of Social Work. Later she was named dean of Indiana University's School of Social Welfare in 1945.

Besides her responsibilities at IU, Browning worked with the State Department of Public Welfare’s Committee on Undergraduate Training from 1945 to 1951. She also served on numerous social work boards and committees. At the time of her death, Browning had recently become the first American social worker assigned to the Technical Assistance Program of the United Nations. She was to serve as a consultant to the Italian Schools of Social Work.

Browning died unexpectedly in 1951 at the age of 46. The Division of Social Services established the Grace Browning Memorial Scholarship Fund in her honor “to perpetuate Miss Browning’s interest in finding funds for social work students who needed financial aid to complete their educations.” In her six years at Indiana University Indianapolis, Browning had succeeded in establishing a strong and lasting school of social services for the city.

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