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David Brown, a native of Virginia, received his B.S. in biology from William & Mary in 1978. During his four years as an undergraduate, he served as a resident adviser and was active on the gymnastics squad as a four year letterman. He was also a member of Pi Sigma and participated in Project Plus, an innovative educational program which led to coed housing on campus.

Brown obtained his doctorate in medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1982. He then joined the Navy and became a flight surgeon, training as a pilot and naval aviator. In 1996 he was selected by NASA to train as an astronaut. Brown returned to William & Mary to share some of his insights as the speaker at Convocation in 2002. He then became the first William & Mary alumnus to fly into space as a member of the STS-107 Columbia research mission in January, 2003. Tragically, he and his fellow crew members lost their lives upon the shuttle's reentry to Earth. In honor of his achievements, he was posthumously awarded the William & Mary Alumni Association's Award and the athletics department established the Dave Brown Memorial Endowment for scholar-athletes in his honor.


  • For more information regarding David Brown's life and career, see the official NASA website.


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This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.