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Furman remembers professor Charles Brewer

Charles Brewer, who taught at Furman for nearly 50 years, died on March 30 at the age of 85.

A celebration of the life and legacy of Charles L. Brewer, legendary professor of psychology at Furman, will be held Sunday, May 6, from 2-4 p.m. at the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center.

Brewer, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology Emeritus, died on March 30 at the age of 85.  He joined the Furman faculty in 1967 and retired in 2014 after an illustrious teaching career.

Dr. Brewer chaired Furman’s psychology department between 1972 and 1984 and was the first winner of the Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching in 1969.  He won the Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Advising in 2010, and is one of only two faculty members to have won both the teaching and advising awards.

He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Furman in 2012.

Dr. Brewer was well known for his contributions to the teaching profession and served as editor of the journal Teaching of Psychology from 1985 to 1996. He won numerous awards from professional psychology organizations, including the Award for Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology from the American Psychological Association (1996) and the Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award from the American Psychological Foundation (1989). In 2003, the American Psychological Foundation named that teaching award for Dr. Brewer.

He was also a recognized authority on noted American psychologist John Broadus Watson, an 1899 Furman graduate who was born in Travelers Rest and is known as the “father of behaviorism.”

A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dr. Brewer received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hendrix College and his master’s and doctorate degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Arkansas. Before coming to Furman, he also taught at The College of Wooster, the University of Arkansas and Elmira College.

In February of this year, Dr. Brewer was interviewed about his teaching career by representatives from the American Psychological Association’s Division 2, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. That interview is available as a podcast here.

Donations may be made to the Charles L. Brewer Endowment Funds at either Hendrix College or Furman University or the Archives at the Cummings Centre for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron.

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