A name that will be a blast from the past for those who follow Greensboro and Guilford County governments is making news in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Ben Brown has been honored as Trustee Emeritus of Fayetteville State University’s Board of Trustees.
Brown served as assistant city manager for the City of Greensboro, and later as deputy county manager for Guilford County, before he retired from local government for good in 2009.
Brown, who served on Fayetteville State University’s Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2011 – including two years as board chair – was honored at the Board of Trustees’ June meeting. The position of Trustee Emeritus, according to the university, “honors a former member of the FSU board over age 65 who has rendered exceptional service to the University.”
Brown is only the sixth person to be named Trustee Emeritus at FSU
Glenn Adams, the chair of the FSU Board of Trustees said the following about the former Greensboro and Guilford County official: “Ben Brown is a shining example of a visionary and strategic leader in higher education, especially at Fayetteville State University. Not only did he help usher in one of the University’s best programs as one of the first MBA graduates, he also returned to teach in the Broadwell College of Business and Economics, helping shape future leaders in the classroom through his own experiences. That kind of learning is invaluable for our students as they pursue their own business degrees. We’re glad to have him back on campus any time.”
Brown had a fascinating and sudden departure from Guilford County government nearly 14 years ago. In December of 2008, Democratic Commissioner Skip Alston was elected Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and former commissioner Steve Arnold, a Republican, was elected vice chairman. That was a highly unusual leadership structure for the county since the chair and vice chair are almost always of the same party in Guilford County. Within days of the leadership change on the board, former Guilford County manager David McNeil retired and, right after that, Brown resigned.
Since leaving Guilford County government, Brown also served at FSU on the Chancellor’s Search Committee, the Business and Finance Committee as well as the Governance Committee. He has received two Chancellor’s Medallions awards.
Brown earned his MBA at the university in 1989 as a member of FSU’s inaugural MBA class.
Before his government work in Greensboro and Guilford County, Brown served as assistant city manager, finance director and chief development officer for the City of Fayetteville. Brown is also a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel.
Brown and his wife, Dr. Dorothy Brown, a retired professor in education at FSU and Bennet College, have five adult children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.