An abundance of Brownings

Family has long tradition of attending, supporting Cathedral

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All of the Brownings -- related or not -- stand in the second floor hallway in Loretto Hall.

Nya Huff, Reporter

Long lasting legacies are prominent all around the world and it is no difference on the Hill. The Browning name has been in the Cathedral family since the late 1980s and has influenced the school is many positive ways during the past three decades.

This year, the last name Browning — not Smith or Jones ­— is the most common on the student name list, truly showing the prominence of the Browning name.

This legacy all goes back to Mr. Michael Browning, who became involved in the Cathedral family when he moved to Indianapolis. Mr. Robert Welch, for whom the WAC is named, who was his business partner at the time.

Since then, he has sent five of his children to Cathedral, beginning the Browning legacy. Mr. Browning, along with this sons Christian and Michael, has done some big things for Cathedral from donating funds to renovate the theater and to raise teacher salaries to gifting  a significant contribution to go toward building the new Innovation Center. Mr. Browning was deemed an honorary graduate in 2007. English teacher Mrs. Liz Browning, sister-in-law of Mr. Browning, described him as a “big believer in building and supporting our community and providing opportunities for others.”

Mrs. Browning is a service learning moderator and the Alliance Club co-moderator and has taught English here since 1996. She is related to 13 different Brownings who have come through the school doors, including three on campus now: freshman Michael Katerine Browning, sophomore Rocco Browning and her son, senior Will Browning.

When she joined the Cathedral family, she came in as an English teacher and yearbook moderator. Mrs. Browning said that the Brownings’ “loyalty and commitment shows older generations value experiences gained at Cathedral.”

Freshman Michael Katherine Browning played freshman volleyball on the Hill this year but isn’t necessarily new to the Cathedral family. Browning wrote that she herself joined the Cathedral family this year. She said, “Last year my brother, Rocco, joined the Cathedral family.” Michael Katherine is the daughter of Michael Browning II ‘92, the son of Mr. Michael Browning, who helped his father make significant donations to last year’s capital campaign, benefiting both students and teachers.

As a result of the Browning legacy, Mr. Michael Browning was honored with the Bishop Chartrand Award in 2003, which is the highest honor given by Cathedral. The legacy isn’t ending here, either. Mrs. Browning said there are nine Brownings coming so far, “one a year for a while.” Two are incoming freshmen next year, including Tillie Browning, daughter of Mr. Christian Browning ‘93, who is a member of the Cathedral Board of Directors.

Michael Katherine Browning said, “My grandfather has had our last name as a legacy here for a while. My father and his brother, Christian, have carried that legacy. Hopefully one day Rocco and I will even be able to continue it.”

But these Brownings aren’t the only ones on the Hill. Senior Lauren Browning isn’t related to Michael Browning or any of the Brownings surrounding that legacy. She said that her parents attended school on the Hill so she’s known about the Browning legacy for a while.

Lauren Browning said that being a Browning made her time at Cathedral “full of questions,” especially considering that senior Will Browning is in her grade and he is related to that branch of Brownings.

Lauren Browning said she’s not shocked that the Browning moniker is the most common last name at Cathedral this year because “it’s a common last name and the legacy of the Brownings is apparent.”

It could be agreed among Lauren, Michael Katherine and Mrs. Browning that the Browning legacy has and will continue to stand strong on the Hill. Even though she’s not a part of the largest Browning family on campus, Lauren Browning said, “Thanks to donations and continuing to send generations to Cathedral, the legacy will be here a long time.”