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Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Living deep in the heart of Texas could be a little intimidating for some Sooners, but not for Chris Brown. The Austin resident makes sure those around him know he takes his "crimson" like he does his coffee: with cream.

"I live on the top floor of a 10-story high-rise in downtown Austin. I am about four blocks from the Capitol and three blocks from the governor's mansion and my windows face one of the buildings that belong to the University of Texas system. So every OU-Texas game week, I place my OU flag in my window; it's very visible from the street. No one has ever said a thing," said Brown with a chuckle.

Brown definitely is a Sooner sports enthusiast. But his love for OU goes far deeper than the University's athletics programs. It's rooted in his experiences as a student and staff member. Because of that love, last year he chose to make an estate gift to OU, a gift that will direct an estimated $1 million to campus beautification efforts.

"I had such a good experience attending and working at OU that I wanted to repay that in some fashion. I always saw a calling for aesthetics. I always thought being in an attractive setting enhanced the academic experience; it made learning easier and more exciting," said Brown, noting that the Van Vleet (South) Oval, with its colorful mums, is his favorite campus spot. "I have followed Mrs. Boren's activities in campus beautification and have enjoyed the results of her work."

Brown's giving to OU stretches across many areas of the University and includes the Louise I. Brown Scholarship,established in memory of his mother and benefiting students from Ardmore High School, the President's Associates program, as well as contributions to support the library and Reforestation Campaign. He sees giving as "a very worthwhile investment in the future."

A 1971 journalism graduate, Brown was a member of Pe-et, PLC (Class of 1967), Omicron Delta Kappa and Beta Theta Pi. He also served on the OU Publications Board and was a Big Man on Campus. Brown began working for OU while a freshman, binding books and periodicals for the OU Press. After graduation, he moved on to work in such areas as High School and College Relations, the Alumni Association and as assistant vice president for University Affairs under Vice President David Burr - Brown was associate vice president by the end of his tenure at OU. His job duties ran the gamut, from conducting freshman orientations to fundraising. Since his time working for OU, he has had successful business ventures in the wholesale gift and decorative accessory industry.

No matter where he lives, Brown is a Sooner through and through. His appreciation for his time at OU seems to have grown just like the plants, flowers and trees that enhance its grounds.

"I've been thinking a lot about my time working for OU and all the opportunities it afforded me. I got to meet two Nobel Prize winners for literature and four of the five Indian ballerinas; I had lunch with Buckminster Fuller, the father of the geodesic dome; I picked up Bill Banowsky for his first interview with the Regents, before he was appointed OU's president. I had a lot of firsts. There were just so many pluses, so many great experiences. I can't say enough about OU."