Trailblazer in Therapeutic Riding to Receive Centenary University’s Highest Honor at Annual Scholarship Fundraising Event

Octavia Brown

Edited Press Release

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, May 16, 2022—Centenary University will award the Gold Dome Award—the University’s highest honor—to a trailblazer in the field of therapeutic riding for her commitment to providing equine opportunities to children and adults with special needs, veterans, and the University’s students. Professor Emeritus of Equine Studies Octavia Brown ’08 HA, Ed.M., D.H.L., will be feted at CU at the Stables, the University’s annual scholarship fundraising event, on June 2, 6:30 pm, at the Centenary University David and Carol Lackland Center.

“Octavia Brown has made a positive impact on the lives of so many through her tireless commitment to therapeutic riding,” said Bruce Murphy, Ed.D. “Early on, she recognized the power that equine-assisted services have to promote confidence, independence, and healing. At Centenary University, we are proud to honor Dr. Brown with the Gold Dome Award for the tremendous impact she has made, both at our University and around the world.”

A longtime Centenary faculty member, Dr. Brown is a founder of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. Now known as PATH International, the nonprofit has 7,000 members worldwide who help support more than 53,000 special needs individuals, including nearly 6,000 veterans, through a variety of equine-assisted services. At Centenary, Dr. Brown is the former director of TRAC (Therapeutic Riding at Centenary), an accredited adaptive riding program that fosters beneficial interactions between horses and humans and provides training for professionals in the field of equine-assisted education and therapy. Through Operation Centaur, the University also provides the benefits of therapeutic riding to military veterans and their family members.

Born in England, Dr. Brown emigrated to the United States in 1964. She earned a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1971 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary in 2008. A past president of the Federation of Riding for the Disabled International, Dr. Brown has been recognized with numerous awards, including the James Brady Award for Lifetime Achievement in Therapeutic Riding, PATH International’s highest honor.

Centenary University has one of the nation’s leading collegiate equine studies programs, offering several specialty fields of study and competitive riding teams. Centenary’s ANRC team recently captured the 2022 ANRC National Equitation Championship, and the University has a near-perfect track record for student acceptance to selective veterinary schools.

CU at the Stables will help to raise critical unrestricted scholarships to provide financial support for Centenary students who may not otherwise be able to bridge the gap between tuition and financial aid. Each year, the University offers more than $14 million in scholarship support to Centenary students. Purchase event tickets here or email Elizabeth.Freeman@centenaryuniversity.edu by May 20.


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