Local Bobcat on alumni board

Just 30 years ago, Craig Brown was a resident of Lincoln Hall at Ohio University taking charge of raising money for a new Bobcat mascot by collecting donations at a football game. Now he is taking his passion for the university to a whole new level.

Craig Brown, a resident of Wapakoneta and a 1982 alumnus of Ohio University, was recently selected to join the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors, making him one of 22 representing the university.

“It’s been almost 30 years since graduation, but I’ll never forget the impact OU had on my life,” Brown said. “It molded me into the person I am today.”

Brown is a business advisor at Rhodes State College in the Small Business Development Center, and currently resides in Wapakoneta with his wife, Linda, and daughters Saira and Emilie.

Brown remembers sitting on the Ohio University Speakers Bureau Council as a student and bringing in speakers to impact fellow students, now he will be representing more than 200,000 alumni.

Caught out of the blue one day, Brown received a letter in the mail that said someone had nominated him to serve on the board.

From there, he filled out an extensive application, noting his experience, including career, board and leadership credentials, and then had three formal phone interviews.

The 1977 Wapakoneta High School graduate was excited when he recently found out he was selected for the board.

“It is just amazing,” Brown said. “It’s mind boggling the intensity of how they evaluate you to get onto the board.”

Starting out as a student at the Athens college and going on to receive a position of this degree is an honor for the Ohio University graduate, who has a strong passion for the university and higher education.

Brown is to serve two three-year terms and meet with the board three times a year, twice in Athens and once at another chosen destination each year.

Once Brown completes his first term, he may decide if he wants to continue for another term. If he does, then after those six years are up, he would enter into the Thomas Ewing Society, named after the first Ohio University graduate, and become a lifetime member.     “I am deeply touched by my years at OU and have shared the love of OU for 30 years,” Brown said.

“I’ve stayed in contact because it was such an impactful time in my life,” he said. “I look forward to giving back after what OU has given me. It’s a very cool place to be.”

Brown stays connected as a member of Ohio University clubs, including The Ohio Bobcat Club, which supports athletics at the university.

Brown, who earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and political science, said his experience at Ohio University was a positive one.

“I had such a good experience and to continue to work with higher education and how it molds lives of students is one of the ultimate ways you can be involved,” Brown said.

To Brown, Ohio University has always been a dynamic institute of higher learning.

The mission of the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors is to connect, inform, serve and engage the university’s diverse alumni and friends, and their vision is that every alumnus participates in the life of Ohio University.

Brown’s committee assignments within the board include the Student Engagement Committee and Alumni Engagement Committee.

Prior to his current employment, Brown served as an intern for John Kasich while attending Ohio University and after graduation he took over the family business, Brown’s Restaurant.

He has recently worked with the University of Findlay and area universities by helping with their small business programs.

“I’m tickled to death,” Brown said of the opportunity. “I’ve worked behind the scenes with the the university, and then out of the blue someone nominates me.”

Brown is proud of the history of the university and is excited to begin his term on the board at the first official meeting during Ohio University’s homecoming weekend in October.

“I’m excited,” Brown said. “I’m sure it’s going to take a lot of work, but it will be fun.”