Tarlee W. Brown (1940-2016)

Tarlee W. Brown

Tarlee W. Brown

Think training for the Olympics is hard? Try making sure that the thousands of cars, buses, taxis, trains, trolleys and shuttles carrying athletes and fans can get where they need to go in the host city during the two weeks of the Games.

That’s what Tarlee Brown, ’72, did for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The UW-trained urban planner and architect developed Georgia’s first Transportation Management Center, then the most advanced and sophisticated facility and system in the nation when it opened in time for the ’96 Games.

Crossing the finish line first was something Brown was quite accustomed to. The son of a sharecropper who was the first in his family to earn a college degree, he came to the UW as a Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow after earning his undergrad degree at Tuskegee University and became the first graduate student in school history to complete two master’s degrees (in both urban planning and architecture) in less than two academic years.

Other firsts: he designed Georgia’s first solar-heated building and the first public library dedicated to African American Studies and Culture. He also created an intern-training program for young minority architects. Quite a legacy he left behind. Brown died Jan. 17, 2016 at the age of 75.