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Son Honors Mother’s Life with Room Dedicated in her Name

Tony Brothers always gives praise to his mother for the example she set raising him.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, he found another way to say “Thank You” and to tell her story. Brothers made a charitable gift to Norfolk State University in honor of his late mother, Dorothy B. Brothers, under the naming opportunities program, allowing a room in the University’s Student Center to bear her name.

“Over 17 years ago, my life changed forever,” said Brothers, referring to his mother’s passing. “I would like to thank NSU, my family and friends for helping me honor an unsung hero to so many ... my mother!  I’m forever grateful to the entire NSU family for making my dream a reality.” 

Room 149 is now the Dorothy B. Brothers Auditorium. A plaque at the room’s entrance recounts her accomplishments and impact.

Dorothy Brothers began her college career studying elementary education at Norfolk State University in the 1960s. Although her education was interrupted when she left to start a family, Norfolk State University and the opportunities it afforded to attain a higher education remained important to her throughout her life.

She went on to become a pioneer, fostering and promoting higher education and diversity within communities and the corporate sector. A 30-year employee with Bank of America, Ms. Brothers rose to the position of senior vice president and national director for the supplier diversity and development group. The group works with minority- and women-owned businesses to ensure they are afforded maximum opportunity to participate in Bank of America’s competitive contracting and procurement processes.

Under her leadership, from 1993 until her death in 2002, spending with minority- and women-owned businesses increased significantly. It was during this period that Bank of America received 60 regional and 10 national awards for its efforts in raising the bar in minority business development.