Alumnae: Alumnae Profiles

Celebrating the Life and Legacy
of Joy San Walker Brown

Mrs. Joy San Walker Brown, C'52, passed away on Thursday morning, Oct. 25, 2012.

Mrs. Joy San Walker Brown loved Spelman College in word and deed, and the College is honored to host the celebration of life service. Please join Spelman College in this celebration.

Contacts: Daughters of Mrs. Joy San Walker Brown, C'52

Dr. JoiSanne Brown Richmond, C'81
690 Vinings Estates Drive
Mableton, GA 30126

Dr. SannaGai A. Brown, C'83
1351 Niskey Lake Road, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30331

Joy San Walker Brown was born in Coldspring, Texas. She graduated with honors from Phyllis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas where she was elected Miss Wheatley, Homecoming Queen. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Spelman College and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biology.

Although she planned to attend medical school following her matriculation at Spelman, the realities of the time (the 1950s) regarding women in medicine - prevented such an endeavor. She married her college sweetheart and relentlessly pursued community service and the development of other young, scientific minds. After eleven years of teaching elementary school in Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn., her passion was redirected to raising her two daughters and serving her community.

She was heavily involved with Spelman, and was a life member of the National Alumnae Association. Joy San organized and chaired the Spelman class of 1952 homecoming activities from her graduation until her death. She was also the recipient of the coveted Spelman College Founder's Spirit Award.

Additionally, Joy San received the following honors: 1985 Woman of the Year for Atlanta Clean City Commission, honorary membership in Golden Key National Honor Society, and Spelman's Breakfast at Tiffany's  Alumnae Achievement Award for Civic Duties. 

Joy San's numerous activities included: Friends of Spelman College; Board of the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, Board of Governors of WXIA-TV - 11 Alive Community Service Awards; Board Member of the Atlanta Committee for Public Education; Vice Chair of the Fulton County Jury Commission; Chairman of the Board of Atlanta Clean City Commission (appointed by Mayor Andrew Young until 1986); founding member of the Phoenix Chapter of the League of Women Voters; Chair of the Public Affairs Committee for the YMCA of Greater Atlanta; Life Member of the NAACP; Advisory Board Member of Phyllis Wheatley Branch of YWCA; Chair and Co-Chair of many committees for the Auxiliary to Atlanta Medical Association; former Chair of the Bridges Across Atlanta; Member of the Board of YWCA of Greater Atlanta; Co-Chair of the Membership Committee for the Atlanta Children's Theater Guild; The Links, Inc., Atlanta Chapter, The Girlfriends, Inc., Atlanta Chapter, Past President and Treasurer; Just for Friends; Habitat for Humanity; UNICF; Atlanta Urban League; UNCF; 100 Black Women of Metropolitan Atlanta; Alliance Theater; Friends of the Auburn Avenue Research Library; the Piedmont Park Conservancy; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; O.N.O. Bridge Club; and Leadership Atlanta.

In lieu of flowers, Joy San requested that donations be made to Spelman College in her name at Spelman College, 350 Spelman Lane, Atlanta, Georgia 30314.