The Browne Center was named for Evelyn Browne (1915-1994), a visionary leader with a drive for excellence and an ability to bring out the best in people.
Evelyn “Ev” had a passion for teaching others the value of living in balance with nature. Her love for the outdoor life brought her to the University of New Hampshire in 1943 to teach horseback riding and riflery.
She remained at UNH and taught various skills and topics until her retirement in 1981. Her accomplishments were many.
As a beloved teacher and activist, she educated community members and organized a movement that prevented Aristotle Onasis from building an oil refinery in Great Bay. Later in her life, Ev was instrumental in the establishment of the Great Bay National Estuary Research Reserve.
"Pam McPhee, executive director of The Browne Center, recalls how Evelyn led UNH into outdoor education in the 1950s, long before most people had heard of it. “Ev could captivate any audience with her vision of what could be,” Pam says. “She saw things 20 to 30 years ahead of everyone else.” In 1988, Evelyn’s vision of what could be led her to donate six acres of land for the foundation of a UNH Center for Excellence in Outdoor Education, providing the impetus for the creation of The Browne Center."