Marion Marsh Brown
Marion Marsh Brown, UNO’s 2015 Legendary Woman, began studies at Peru (NE) State College in 1923 when she was fifteen years old. After graduating in 1927 with a degree in English, Marion spent the next eight years teaching in a variety of small Nebraska communities. Along with her responsibilities in the classroom, she found time during this period to complete an M.A. in English in 1930 from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. In 1934, Marion began teaching English at Peru State College and three years later briefly left teaching for marriage and family.
In 1954 she returned to the classroom as a Professor of English at the University of Omaha, where she remained until 1968.
Although Marion enjoyed teaching, it was obvious from an early age that writing was her main passion. Young Marion Marsh was only ten years-old when her first short story was published by the Omaha Bee, a local newspaper. Over the next eight decades Marion authored over 200 articles and books, many intended for young readers. She had discovered early in her teaching career that very few good books were available for youngsters.
Marion gathered many honors, including recognition by the Junior Literacy Guild, the Boy’s Clubs of America, the Children’s Books Clubs of America, the Book-of-the-Month Club, the National Press Women, the Catholic Children’s Book Club, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Nebraska Library Association. In the late 1950s, Marion was recognized by the Nebraska Council of Teachers of English as one of Nebraska’s ten most important writers.
When asked what she like best about writing, Marion answered quickly: “The composing. I love the words and the way they come together as of their own volition. It’s fun.”
UNO is proud to host the Marion Marsh Brown Writers Lecture Series. The inaugural lecture in this series was given by author John Grisham on April 21, 2016 at Baxter Arena.