A member of Bournemouth University’s radio production teaching team, Alan also held the post of radio technician at the university, being responsible for helping students with a multitude of technical issues. Alan, himself a Bournemouth University (BU) graduate, celebrated his 37th year at BU in 2017.
In 2000, Alan founded BIRSt, a student-led internet radio station, run by MA Radio Production post-graduate students. Long-term colleague, friend and BIRSt co-founder Jo Tyler, said: “Alan was a great teacher, a gentle and patient soul. He loved hearing about students who had moved on from university and celebrated their achievements.
"As a colleague he was invaluable, listening to every idea and usually within no time having a solution. He answered every query as if it was the most important question of the day. He was unflappable and understood what it was like to be new to university. He treated everyone equally and smiled at everyone, no exceptions.”
Jo added: "More than anything, I miss my radio friend. His sense of humour and professional ethic made working with him a joy. He also had a voice like silk. He truly was Amazing Alan, I feel so privileged to have known and learned from him."
BU’s Faculty of Media and Communication has now re-named its largest radio studio, Studio 1, the Alan Brown Studio in memory of Alan, as this was the area in which he spent a great deal of his time teaching and advising students.
Former colleague, and Multimedia Journalism lecturer, Sue Wallace, said: “I met Mel and Freya, Alan’s family, when I first came to BU and it’s lovely to see them here today. Mel said earlier how she had appreciated so much all of the students’ memories and photographs. To have the memories playing on the radio at BU right now, it’s really important to remember Alan this way.
“Alan was a real stalwart – he worked with me on the journalism courses and he was always there, able to give advice and offer a helping hand. He was never flustered, even when the students and the academics were. It really seems right to name the radio suite at BU after him.”
Brad Gyori, senior lecturer in digital storytelling, continued: “To add to Sue’s thoughts, Alan had a real kindness and generosity and endless patience. He was a modest and humble guy. He liked to help people, not for the fan-fare, but just to help people out however he could.”
A live radio broadcast presented by and featuring BU students was also aired throughout the afternoon across Talbot campus, highlighting some of the projects that Alan worked on, with Alan’s widow, Mel, daughter Freya, brother Ray and his wife Anne attending the commemorations throughout the afternoon.
Following the dedication, the Alan Brown Radio Features Award was presented by Alan’s widow Mel at the BA Multimedia Journalism awards ceremony.
Those wishing to hear more about Alan and his work can visit http://www.birst.co.uk/audio/rememberingalan/