The University of Texas at Austin
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By Dan Boehl

Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Brown

As Dr. Malcolm Brown sat at his wife’s bedside on the morning of December 20, 2009, in an Austin hospital room in St. David’s Medical Center, he looked out the window and witnessed the morning sunlight warming the UT Tower with a heartening glow. He took a camera from his pocket and captured that magical moment. His wife, Ann, had recently suffered a stroke, and the image of the sun’s glow reflecting off the Tower has become a symbol of the couple’s dedication to each other.

To celebrate their love and marriage of nearly 49 years, Dr. Brown decided to create an endowment in his wife’s honor. He asked George Mitchell, CEO of the University Co-op, if the organization would sell prints of the Tower photograph with all proceeds going to support an endowment. The Co-op agreed, and the Ann Callaway Brown Endowment Fund for the UT String Project was born.

Both Ann and Malcolm are graduates of The University of Texas at Austin. They met each other as undergraduates. It was love at first sight. Ann was majoring in English with a minor in French and Malcolm was majoring in biology. Their first date was at an Acacia fraternity “grubby” party, where Ann in no way looked “grubby.” They have been together ever since. Eventually Malcolm earned his PhD in botany from UT and joined the faculty in 1982. He holds the Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair in Plant Biology.

Anne Callaway Brown

When Ann was a little girl living in Austin, she enrolled in the Junior String Project at UT, as it was then named, and learned how to play the violin. She benefited from this program for more than 10 years and became the concertmistress of the Junior String Project Orchestra. The UT Junior String Project continues to be very special to Ann. Music is an essential ingredient in the lives of the Browns and they feel lucky to still be involved with a program that changed Ann’s life forever.

The University of Texas String Project has the potential to change the lives of thousands of young people. The program is so popular that it must turn away more than 700 students a year due to space limitations.

The Butler School of Music also believes in the String Project and hopes that through contributions to the Ann Callaway Brown Endowment Fund for the UT String Project, funds can be raised for a new building, as well as operating funds to enhance this valuable University program.

To learn more about the Browns and the UT String Project, visit the Ann Callaway Brown Endowment Fund for the UT String Project story on the Legacy Project website at