Ellen A. Brown of Stuart, Va., former director of the Radford Heritage Foundation and Glencoe Museum in Radford, Va., has been appointed director of the Reynolds Homestead in Critz, Va.
The announcement was made by John E. Dooley, vice provost for Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. “We are pleased to have a person with Ellen’s experience and expertise leading this important component of Virginia Tech’s outreach program in Patrick County. We are confident that under her leadership at the Reynolds Homestead we will be able to expand the scope and quality of programs and identify new programs that will advance the mission of the university in serving the people of Patrick County and Virginia.”
With experience in liberal arts education and non-profit management, Brown hopes to promote the historic home and continuing education center through creatively designed programs; innovative approaches to tourism; and collaborations with Virginia Tech faculty, other educational institutions, and cultural and community organizations. She will focus her efforts on strengthening the ties between Virginia Tech and the Reynolds Homestead, especially in terms of expanding continuing education programs.
“This job will allow me to blend my scholarly interests — writing and historical research — with my enthusiasm for volunteerism, fund-raising, education, and community development,” says Brown. “I am very happy to have a chance to be an administrator in a setting where the liberal arts can flourish.”
As part-time director of Radford’s Heritage Foundation, Brown supervised the Glencoe Museum, significantly strengthening its operations. Visitor attendance and membership nearly tripled, and annual contributions increased by about 400 percent. She also served as executive director of the Henderson County Council of Aging in Hendersonville, N.C., and Sarah’s Circle, Inc., a non-profit organization assisting low-income elderly people in Washington, D.C. In 1987, she formed the first board of directors of the Free Clinic of Central Virginia in Lynchburg and was subsequently elected its president. She succeeded in securing funds from the United Way, establishing bylaws and articles of incorporation, and creating a manageable facility that still thrives today.
Brown earned her bachelor’s degree at Sweet Briar College. She holds three master’s degrees; one each from the University of Virginia; University of North Carolina at Asheville; and Virginia Tech. She has taught German to students on the college and high school level. Her teaching credentials also include working as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Vienna, Austria; educating Vietnamese, Mexican, Chinese, and Haitian students in English as a second language at William Fleming High School in Roanoke, Va.; and serving as a teaching assistant in history at Virginia Tech.