Nearly a century of social work at WUSTL celebrated with new book

To celebrate nearly 100 years of existence and a new era in social work education, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work is publishing “What We Believe: A History of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work: 1909-2007.”

This history of the Brown School will be available at the Campus Store May 16.

“This is a pivotal time for social work training and for the profession itself,” said Edward F. Lawlor, Ph.D., dean and the William E. Gordon Professor. “We are implementing a new strategic plan, and it is the perfect time for us to remember and learn from our history.”

Author Candace O’Connor begins the book with a look at poverty in St. Louis and the early history of social work education locally and concludes with an overview of more recent accomplishments and a glimpse into the Brown School’s future.

Threaded throughout the book are milestones and evolutions in social work education as well as first-person accounts from alumni and current and former faculty.

“It was a great pleasure to write about a school that has always dedicated itself to educating women and men who wish to do good in the world,” O’Connor said.

The book also features some of the great leaders in the field of social work who played a part in the Brown School’s history, among them Roger Baldwin, Julia Stimson, Frank Bruno, Benjamin Youngdahl, Shanti Khinduka and Michael Sherraden.

O’Connor, author of “Beginning a Great Work: Washington University in St. Louis, 1853-2003,” is an award-winning writer and editor who has written extensively for regional and national publications.

She won a regional Emmy award for her historical documentary, “Oh Freedom After While: The Missouri Sharecropper Protest of 1939,” which aired nationally on PBS.

The book will be available for purchase from the Campus Store in Mallinckrodt Student Center May 16. To order “What We Believe,” visit

Did you know?

For interesting facts about the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, visit

Excerpts from “What We Believe,” including interesting stories and people from the Brown School can be viewed at