The Browns came to UVA at the invitation of Vice President and Dean of Students Robyn S. Hadley, who met them eight years ago when their younger son enrolled in a scholars program Hadley led at Washington University in St. Louis. The Browns were the last of four guests Hadley invited over the past year as part of “Managing for THE NOW, Managing for THE NEXT,” a professional development speaker series she initiated for Student Affairs.
Themes of family, resilience, connection, community and service came up throughout the day as the Browns took questions from audience members and shared their life story.
The son of an Army colonel, Gen. Brown described growing up in a military family and how he thrives on moves and change. He graduated from a Newport News high school and has been honored on many counts. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world.
His father’s influence led him to the ROTC program at Texas Tech University, where he was commissioned in 1984 as a distinguished graduate. Thirty-eight years later, he has been to every continent, become friends with international air chiefs in Singapore, Mongolia and other areas of the world, and risen to become the first African American military chief in the country’s history. (U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell, of course, chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff during his tenure from 1989 to 1993.)