HJ469: Celebrating the life of Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks.


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 469
Offered March 6, 2006
Celebrating the life of Dr.  Lyman Beecher Brooks.
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Patrons-- Howell, A.T., Abbitt, Albo, Alexander, Amundson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Barlow, Bell, Bowling, Brink, Bulova, Byron, Callahan, Caputo, Carrico, Cline, Cole, Cosgrove, Cox, Crockett-Stark, Dance, Dudley, Ebbin, Eisenberg, Englin, Fralin, Frederick, Gear, Gilbert, Griffith, Hall, Hamilton, Hargrove, Hogan, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Hull, Hurt, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, D.C., Jones, S.C., Kilgore, Landes, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Marsden, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., May, McClellan, McEachin, McQuigg, Melvin, Miller, Moran, Morgan, Nixon, Nutter, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Parrish, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Poisson, Purkey, Putney, Rapp, Reid, Rust, Saxman, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Shannon, Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Suit, Tata, Toscano, Tyler, Valentine, Waddell, Ward, Wardrup, Ware, O., Ware, R.L., Watts, Welch, Wittman and Wright; Senators: Bell, Blevins, Chichester, Colgan, Cuccinelli, Deeds, Devolites Davis, Edwards, Hanger, Hawkins, Herring, Houck, Howell, Lambert, Locke, Lucas, Marsh, Martin, McDougle, Miller, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, O'Brien, Potts, Puckett, Puller, Quayle, Rerras, Reynolds, Ruff, Saslaw, Stolle, Stosch, Ticer, Wagner, Wampler, Watkins, Whipple and Williams
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WHEREAS, Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks, the revered former president of Norfolk State University who died on April 20, 1984, is honored for his immeasurable contributions to higher education in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks was born on May 27, 1910, to John Robert Brooks, a former slave and Union Navy veteran, who made a living as a farmer, waterman, and private music teacher, and Mary Anna Burrell, a school teacher and graduate of Hartshorne Memorial College, now Virginia Union University; and

WHEREAS, Mary Anna Brooks named her son after the president of her alma mater, Lyman Beecher Tefft; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Union University, and after serving many years as a teacher and principal, earned his master's degree and doctoral degree from the University of Michigan; and

WHEREAS, in 1938 Lyman Brooks became the director of the Norfolk unit of Virginia Union University, now Norfolk State University (NSU); and

WHEREAS, during his distinguished tenure as chief administrative officer from 1938 to 1975, Lyman Brooks transformed the school from three classrooms with five teachers into a modern 18-building campus with a faculty and staff of 375 and 6,300 students; and

WHEREAS, the first four-year degree was presented by NSU in 1958, however the school was not separated from Virginia State College until 1969, when it became an independent, four-year degree institution with its own Board of Visitors and  president; and

WHEREAS, under Lyman Brooks' exemplary leadership, NSU progressed through four distinct growth phases, from a junior college of Virginia Union University to the Norfolk Polytechnic College, and from the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College to NSU; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks retired from NSU on June 30, 1975, and the college achieved its present university status in 1979, but accreditation was paved by the great skill and fortitude of the university's distinguished former president; and

WHEREAS, committed to the well-being of all of the residents of the Norfolk community, Lyman Brooks gave his time and talents to numerous community activities, including as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Norfolk Community Hospital for 30 years; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks served as a devoted trustee and Sunday school teacher at Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church and was a faithful member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks is the author of the book, Upward: A History of Norfolk State University that tells the saga of NSU’s rise to prominence; and

WHEREAS, in 1972 a new library was completed and named the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library in honor of his many accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, Lyman Brooks strongly believed in his students’ abilities to "uplift themselves through education"; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks is respectfully remembered for his abounding enthusiasm and profound wisdom and is missed by his loving family, his students and colleagues, and the citizens of the Norfolk community and the Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly mourn the passing of a pioneer in education and an outstanding Virginian, Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.