Brown Scholarships for Ethics in Public Affairs

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center is honored to name Lauryn Tecca as the 2023 recipient of the $2,000 Bob and Sue Brown Undergraduate Scholarship for Ethics in Public Affairs; and Jane Rooney as the 2023 recipient of the $1,000 Bob and Sue Brown Undergraduate Scholarship for Ethics in Public Affairs. These scholarships are given in recognition of students’ work supporting the legacy of Senator Mike Mansfield and his commitment to ethical leadership.

Bob & Sue Brown

The Mansfield Center offers two competitive scholarships totaling $3,000 to two University of Montana undergraduate students each year to recognize the importance of ethics in public affairs.

The Bob & Sue Brown Undergraduate Scholarships for Ethics in Public Affairs are made possible due to the generous support of anonymous donors to create a $50,000 endowment, thus allowing this scholarship to continue in perpetuity. It is the first addition to the Mansfield Endowment since its creation by Congress in 1983 that is specifically designed to support student scholarships. Upon the creation of the endowment, a second donor has stepped up with a $10,000 donation to support funding of an additional scholarship through 2030.

Bob and Sue Brown each have a lifetime of commitment to public service. Bob served in the Montana Legislature for 26 years, as Montana Secretary of State, and has served on a number of history, education and community service boards. He taught history and government at the high school and college levels. Sue taught at Flathead High School for 40 years, where she initiated many programs to provide opportunities for students to become critical thinkers and compassionate, responsible citizens of the world.


  • Full-time undergraduates in any academic program of the University of Montana at Missoula are eligible to receive the scholarships.

  • The scholarships will be awarded annually to authors of academic papers or creative projects that focus substantially on a topic or topics related to Ethics in Public Affairs, submitted in fulfillment of course requirements in any subject that is part of the undergraduate curriculum.

  • Instructors of any rank in the university may nominate up to two papers for the scholarship award to a selection committee appointed by the executive director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. 

  • Previous recipients of the Brown Scholarship are ineligible.

Application and Award Process 

  • Faculty can nominate papers by emailing the Mansfield Ethics and Public Affairs Program Director, Robert Saldin directly with their nomination.  It is a rolling application process and nominations should be submitted throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, but no later than April 1st each year.

  • The nomination should include the student name, though please add student major and year in school if you have it. In a short paragraph, briefly share details of the paper or project that inspired you to nominate the student, highlighting the relevance to ethics in public affairs. You may also wish to attach the paper or project to your email.

  • While only UM faculty are able to nominate papers, students are encouraged to speak with their professors and advisors regarding the nomination of work they believe fulfills the award requirements.

  • The scholarships will be awarded annually at or around the time of Commencement, by the Executive Director of the Mansfield Center or someone delegated to represent the Executive Director.

  • The scholarships consist of a $2,000 first prize, and a $1,000 second prize. Each financial award will be presented together with a certificate.  The scholarships will be applied to the student's UM account by mid-April.  If the account is already fully paid, then the $2,000 is generally returned to the student as a reimbursement of overpayment. However, please check with your Financial Aid officer to confirm your individual circumstances and how this award might impact your financial aid. The Mansfield Center is not liable for any impacts this scholarship may make on your financial aid package.

About the Honorees

Bob Brown

Bob Brown grew up on a small cattle and grain operation in NW Montana and is a graduate of Flathead High School.  He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science at Montana State University where he also served as President of the Associated Students during his senior year. He earned his Master of Education from the University of Montana. 

Bob was elected to serve a total twenty-six years representing NW Montana in the Montana Legislature, two terms in the Montana House and the remainder in the Montana Senate.  During his tenure, he chaired key committees including Taxation & Education and served as President of the Senate from 1994-1996. In 2000 Bob was elected Montana’s Secretary of State and made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2004.

In addition to elected political office, Bob served on the Montana Board of Public Education and the Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees including two terms as President.  From 1996-2002 Bob served as an advisor for the US Agency for International Development/International Republican Institute and conducted workshops for democratic experiments in Angola, Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Russia on legislative processes and administrative procedures. His community service includes the Conrad Memorial Cemetery Board, the Northwest Montana Historical Society Board, Rotary International, and the American Legion among others.

Bob was a senior fellow at both the University of Montana Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West and was an exchange instructor for a semester at Nankai University in Tianjin, China.  While at the University of Montana he initiated the Montana Oral History Project, archived online at the UM Mansfield Library, and to date has conducted over 80 interviews of key figures in modern Montana public affairs.  Bob has taught continuing education courses for both the University of Montana MOLLI program and for Flathead Valley Community College. Bob’s teaching career began at the high school level where he taught both history and government in Kalispell, Bigfork, and Whitefish.  He is a Navy veteran.

Sue Brown

Sue Brown grew up in Dickinson, ND, and graduated high school in Forsyth, MT.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Montana College (now MSU-Billings) and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Montana.  Sue taught at Flathead High School for 40 years where she chaired the English Language Arts Department and was instrumental in Flathead becoming the first International Baccalaureate Programme World School in Montana. Sue was involved in a variety of efforts to expand student opportunities beyond the classroom including a term as head Speech and Debate Coach and as long-time sponsor of Close Up Programs, a national non-partisan program founded to promote civic education and engagement at local and national levels.

Sue was known as a curriculum leader statewide and served in a leadership role for a number of Office of Public Instruction and district curriculum initiatives. Sue was awarded many honors throughout her career including the Close Up Foundation National Award for Teaching Excellence in Civic Education, Montana State Reading Council’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, the Montana Forensic Educator’s Hall of Fame Award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from both Flathead High School and the NW Montana Reading Council.

Since retiring in 2017, Sue has served as a volunteer with the Writing Coaches of Montana and has continued to serve on the Executive Board of the Northwest Montana Reading Council.  She has served for more than two decades on the Board of Directors of the Whitefish Credit Union.

Sue and Bob have two adult daughters and are proud that both Robin and Kelly have chosen to pursue careers in education and public service.