PULLMAN -- George Bernard Brain, longtime dean of the Washington State University College of Education, died last week. He was 92.
Brain was dean of the College of Education from 1965 to 1983.
Brain was born in 1919, in Thorp, Kittitas County, where he returned after his retirement from WSU. He died in nearby Ellensburg on July 14.
A private family service will be held Saturday at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Ellensburg.
Brain began his career as a teacher in Yakima, but quickly moved into administration. He received his master's in education from Central Washington State College in 1950 and his doctorate from Columbia University in 1957.
He became the state's youngest school superintendent in 1953, when he was hired by the Bellevue school district.
In 1959, Time magazine called him "the fastest-rising educator in the U.S. public school system." The magazine article described how Brain had put together "some of the most interesting U.S. public experiments in setting up un-graded classes and grouping children according to ability."
Brain's hiring as superintendent of the Baltimore public schools in 1960 pushed him into the national spotlight. He led the large district for four years during the tumultuous time following court-ordered school desegregation.
In 1964, Brain returned to his home state to head up the College of Education. He had been elected president of the American Association of School Administrators.
Brain was instrumental in getting principals and superintendents hired around the state, often putting in calls to the districts on behalf of candidates, former colleagues said. He also urged WSU faculty members to work closely with school districts across the state.
Brain's influence was felt not only outside the state, but also outside the country. He sent WSU instructors to Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Rangoon, where they worked with international schools on behalf of the College of Education.
The legacy of that effort lives on in WSU's International School Leadership Certificate Program.
In 1980, Brain was badly injured when he fell from a ladder while sweeping Mount St. Helens ash off the roof of his house. He retired three years later.
In 1987, WSU named the education library in Pullman after him.
Brain's family has established a WSU scholarship in his name to benefit students seeking advanced education degrees.
Checks payable to the WSU Foundation may be sent to Affordable Funeral Care, 101 E. 2nd Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98926.