Brown Family's Philanthropy Empowers First-Generation Students at USAO

President Hale, Adelina Flores, Rylee Wilkerson
Rylee Wilkerson, President Hale and Adelina Flores

With the belief that education serves as a path toward economic equality and social justice, Diana and Lawrence (Larry) Brown are ardent supporters of students seeking higher education.

For over a decade, the Browns have given to the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma in support of first-generation students. Most recently, they donated funds to provide two $1,000 scholarships for first-generation college students. Adelina Flores, a psychology major with a double minor in biology and liberal arts from Noble; and Rylee Wilkerson, an art major with a computer science minor from Mustang were chosen as the recipients of the scholarships.

“Diana and Larry’s commitment to advancing education and their steadfast support of first-generation college students is truly remarkable,” said JP Audas, USAO Senior Vice President of External Affairs. “Their generosity benefits not only the individual students, but also contributes to the broader goal of fostering inclusive and diverse educational opportunities. The impact of their support will undoubtedly resonate for generations to come, inspiring others to follow their example in championing the transformative power of education."

The Brown’s commitment to empowering first-generation college students extends beyond USAO. Through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, they have established scholarships for seniors graduating from Chickasha High School, the alma mater of their four daughters. The three scholarships, two for females and one for a male, have specific eligibility requirements intended to support opportunities for racial and/or ethnic minority students who are the first in their families to attend college.

“Diana and I believe it is very important to assist in helping students who are embarking on a journey of higher education for the first time,” said Larry Brown. “Through our gifts, we aspire to create opportunities to open doors that have been closed far too long.”

Larry and Diana Brown have been part of the Chickasha community for over 35 years. They both graduated from the University of California at Davis with degrees in mechanical engineering and foods and nutrition, respectively. Larry was the founder and president of Midwest Cooling Towers in Chickasha until he retired in 2014.

For more information and to give in support of students, visit

About the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

As Oklahoma’s liberal arts college, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma provides a distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences, supporting both its interdisciplinary core curriculum and major fields of study with superior teaching. USAO fosters diversity of thought and practice to help students realize meaningful, purposeful and productive lives as global citizens in a rapidly-changing world.