Fletcher Brockman was born in Amherst County, Virginia, November 18, 1867. He was graduated with an A. B. degree from Vanderbilt University in 1891. It was his extensive knowledge of world affairs and distinctive leadership in the YMCA that brought Mr. Brockman international recognition. "Who's Who" lists the following as his official connections with many different functions of the YMCA and other phases of Christian work from 1891 on:
Student secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA for 13 Southern States, 1891-1897; traveling secretary of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1897-1898; went to Nanking, China, in 1898 as foreign secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA ; general secretary of the National Committee of the YMCA of China, 1901-1915; associate general secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA, 1915-1924; administrative secretary of the National Council of the YMCA of the United States for the Far East, 1924-1928; secretary for the Promotion of Friendship between America and the Far East.
In addition to these assignments, Mr. Brockman held many high offices in numerous international religious organizations, such as the Missionary Alliance, the Student Volunteer Movement, National Work Council of the YMCA of the United States, the National Christian Council of China, the National Committee on American-Japanese Relations, Foreign Policy Association, board of directors of China Famine Relief in the United States, members of the Council of Colleges on Chinese Studies, Associated Boards of Christian Colleges in China, National Conference of Jews and Christians advisory committeeman and others.
Mr. Brockman received the LL.D. degree from Colgate in 1929. He also received other honorary degrees, among them being Master of Humanities from the International YMCA College, Springfield, Mass., in 1930. He was decorated by the Chinese Order of Jade in 1937.
He retired in 1929 and became a lecturer on Far Eastern affairs at Vanderbilt's School of Religion. He also served on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust from 1919 to 1934. Before his death in 1944, Mr. Brockman and his wife, Mary Clark Brockman, started to donate a collection of Oriental relics and works of art, gathered during their years of working in the Far East, to the School of Religion. Besides the Divinity Library exhibit, a portion of the collection is displayed in Kirkland Hall and the rest is housed in Special Collections and University Archives.
"Go and Make Disciples of All Nations" (Matt. 28:19)
Text (with adaptations and expansions) from an obituary of
Fletcher Brockman in the Columbia (S.C.) State, November 1944